Uganda Cricket Association unveiled the new Men’s National Team Coach at Lugogo Cricket Oval on the 23rd May 2016 at 12:00pm.
Mr. Stephen Ogonji Tikolo has taken the reigns of the Men’s National Team. He comes into office as the Association launches the “Project 2016/17”; The National Men’s Team is preparing for the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in the first quarter of 2017 and the Under 19 team is doing groundwork for the 2017 World Cup Qualifiers.
On the back drop of Uganda Cricket Association banner the soft spoken and mostly self-assured Tikolo was straight to the point on his task at hand; “This is not my first time in Uganda; I have been here many times before as a player as well as a coach.” He added; “Uganda has a lot of talent, but it will also take a lot of hard work to get the job done and get to the place where we want to be playing.”
Hard Work it is, and there is no better person to do that than the gentleman who came from Kenya to arguably be the best player not to have played Test cricket and also played at the time Kenya was at the peak of its cricket in ODI status and Intercontinental Cricket Championships.
In truth Stephen Tikolo needs no introduction; the right hand batsman and all rounder has scaled heights in cricket few from this region will have dreamed about; it was his 147 against Bangladesh in the ICC trophy final in 1997 that sealed Kenya’s ODI status and also confirmed their presence in the 1999 world cup in England. He had earlier made his debut in the 1996 World Cup in Asia against India making 65. He is however remembered most fondly for his top score of 29 against the West Indies on 29th February 1996 in Pune; a historic win when they defeated a Test Playing Nation. He led the Kenyan side in their run into the semifinal of the 2003 world cup defeating Sri Lanka.
135 One Day Internationals with a surfeit total of 3,428 runs at 29.05 with 3 hundreds and 24 half centuries, his highest score of 111 coming against Bermuda at Mombasa sports Club in 2006 to go with 106* against Bangladesh at the Banghabandu National Stadium in 1999 and 102 against Test playing Zimbabwe at Gymkhana Club Ground 2008.
He picked 94 wickets at a parsimonious economy of 4.80 picking two 4 wicket hauls. To imagine that 90% of his career was spent bowling at stronger batting opponents puts this in proper perspective.
He is the first player from a non test playing nation to appear in 100 ODIs. A feat he achieved in 2007.
First Class Career:
Stephen Tikolo clocked in 62 first class games over his glittering career piling on 4,728 runs at an average a shade under 50 with a highest score of 220 against Bermuda in Windhoek, Namibia in 2005; he scored a mind numbing 11 tons and 26 half centuries. His centuries came against Zimbabwe A, Sri Lanka A, Pakistan A, India A, Canada, Netherlands, Ireland and his now adopted country Uganda; a classy 149 in Kampala at the Lugogo Cricket Oval in 2005.
He picked 85 wickets at an economy below 4 an over with best bowling figures of 6/80; his only recorded international 5 wicket haul.
List A Career:
If his ODI and First class career were anything to marvel at, he is the stuff of legend in List A cricket, 213 matches scoring a sensational 6,105 runs at an average of 33; highest score of 133 notching 9 hundreds and a truly remarkable 40 fifties.
He picked 168 wickets at 4.65.
An orthodox offspinner he made name for himself as one of the finest all rounders to grace the game. In truth, little justice can be done to this great in words, but rather, an opportunity to showcase his abilities with the team in his charge now.
Teams he featured for:
Stephen Tikolo over his brilliant career turned out for Kenya, Border in South African first Class Cricket, Africa XI against Asia XI, University of West Indies Vice Chancellor XI, Southern rocks, Swamipaba Sports Club and Rwenzori Warriors.
No doubt this prodigious icon of the cricket game on the African continent brings a calm demeanor, plethora of experience and technical ability to help Ugandan Cricket rise to the conquests they once enjoyed when division 1 world cricket league was transforming from possibility to reality.
Under 23 Team:
Mr. Henry Okecho the National Development Manager was introduced as Head Coach for the Under 23 and Under 19 boys team; he has been at the helm of the Under 19 boys’ team and was in charge during the Africa qualifiers in Tanzania and the global qualifiers in Malaysia; “We put in place this under 23 unit to help some of these young players have a smooth transition into the national side, to prepare them for the rigors of playing cricket at a much higher lever then Under 19.” The head coach in charge of both Under 23 and Under 19 added; “this Under 23 stage will also serve as a stage and challenge for Under 19 player to strive towards and keep them hungry to grow. There are various programmes for the Under 23 level that we shall be unveiling as the year progresses.”
It was also mentioned in the press conference that different technical support in the form of batting specialists and bowling specialists will be brought in occasionally to support Tikolo with the National Team duties.
Among other offices filled at the ceremony were the roles of Under 23, Under 19, Under 15 Boys and Under 19 girls.
Stephen Tikolo was not the only coach introduced to the press as the various coaches to head the roles in the association for different age group teams were introduced;
Men’s National Team;
Head Coach; Stephen Ogonji Tikolo
Assistant; Michael Grace Ndiko
Head Coach; Henry Okecho
Asssitants; Emmanuel Isaneez and Jackson Ogwang
Head Coach; Henry Okecho
Assistants; Emmanuel Isaneez and Jackson Ogwang
Under 15 Boys;
Head Coach: John Tumusiime
“I would like to thank the Uganda Cricket Association for giving me this opportunity, i understand that i am now in charge of the structures that will feed the senior teams; this is a serious job for which i am ready to take on. I will do my best to instill the basics into the young and upcoming generation to have better results at senior level.” Under 15 head coach John Tumusime.
Assistant: Emmanuel Kamya
Under 19 Girls:
Head Coach; Habib Mugalula
“I never thought i would be n this position again, but i am glad and honoured to serve again in the best way i can. I have worked successfuly with Women’s teams before and do hope that this time around we shall equal or even do better than we previously have done. I am looking forward to the Challenge.” Head Coach Under 19 Girls Team Habib Mugalula.
Assistant: Jackson Ogwang
The mood in Ugandan Cricket has taken a turn for the better, the excitement and vigour of local players is probably higher than it has been in a long while after the coach was clear about giving everyone a shot at making it to the national side through an open door policy for whoever is playing their best cricket.
It will however be important for them to heed that the coach knows Uganda is blessed with a dearth of talent. He was specific that talent must meet hard work for Uganda to get where they want to go in world cricket; but who is willing to put in the hard work required to make the cut and impress a man who has little or nothing to prove in cricket anymore?
23rd May 2016 UgCricket.
|RISING ZEBRAS VS ROARING LIONS||243/4 - 179/7||LUGOGO CRICKET OVAL|
|CHARGING LEOPARDS VS MIGHTY RHINOS||55/3 - 60/1||LUGOGO CRICKET OVAL|
|ACC VS SKLPS(R1)||160/6 - 162/7||BUDO CRICKET OVAL|
|AVENGERS VS NYAKASURA (R1)||172/6 - 140/5||BUDO CRICKET OVAL|
|AVENGERS CC vs J.A.C.C (R1)||194/8 - 131||JINJA S.S.S|
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