BY INNOCENT NDAWULA
The Cricket Cranes – Uganda’s national men cricket team – were this morning involved in action but off the oval as they indulged in some Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
They made time for the disadvantaged with a visit to Mulago Hospital where they were welcomed with faces of gloom and doom as parents and guardians attended to their patients.
But it was at Jeliffe Children’s Ward 16 that the Cricket Cranes got a reality check when they saw hundreds of children of varying ages, some struggling for their lives and others only waiting for divine intervention to heal.
Mulago Hospital’s Customer Relations Officer Shaban Ssebuliba asked Cricket Cranes opening bowler Bilal Hassun to lead the prayers.
As the players and team management comforted the sick, many couldn’t help but break down. The sad tales from the parents and guardians left others thoughtful but made them stronger and work with resolve as they thoroughly cleaned and polished not one but five wards in the Children Zone.
They also mopped the verandah of the 1945 establishment, swept the compound and wrapped it up by putting smiles on their hosts' faces as they handed over an assortment of play toys, clothes, scholastic materials and home-care items.
There was also a moment of selfies at the facility for the Endiro Coffee-sponsored team that flies out to Muscat, Oman tomorrow (November 4) for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division III campaign.
The primary goal for Uganda will be to finish among the top two nations at the six-team global showpiece involving USA, Singapore, Denmark, Kenya and hosts Oman, if they are to earn promotion to coveted Division II, that will bring more funding for the game's development.
More than anything that the Cricket Cranes did, they gave hope to the patients and left a fresh aura of awe-inspiring belief. It was such a humbling experience.
The Cricket Cranes Team Manager Jackson Kavuma said;
We are privileged to be the first national team to do this here. We are very emotional right now. We hope the time we have shared with them will give them hope and belief. We will continue to pray for them
Ssebuliba Shaban Customer Relations Officer of Mulago said;
What you have done is unbelievable. You have comforted us and left us with smiles. The lives of these sick children are going to be even better. Thanks for the love and time given to us. You guys are real Cricket Cranes and I know u will fly. We will follow you and support you from now on.