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Mukono Cricket Community’s Lessons from the U-18 Girls Inter-Hub Tournament

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The recently concluded under-18 girls Inter-Hub tournament in Gulu city marked a significant milestone for Mukono Cricket Community, as they believe they checked the most boxes among the five participating teams.

Rather than aiming for victory, Mukono Cricket Community entered the tournament with the primary objective of witnessing improved player performance.

Winning the competition would have been a bonus; however, the primary goal was to observe the players enhance their skills and gameplay.

All 15 players representing the Hub had the opportunity to showcase their skills on the pitch, aligning with the community’s emphasis on player development and game awareness.

As the team entered the game, Coach Maria Nyende Kagoya of Mukono Cricket Community provided bowlers with a strategic directive to target the stumps, even if they were hit for six.

This approach increased the chances of securing a wicket, particularly when the batter attempted to go across the line.

Emphasizing the importance of bowling to the stumps, the coach encouraged bowlers to focus on the stumps’ line.

Coach Kagoya aptly described the stumps area as the “money zone” or “business line,” noting the gradual adoption of this strategy as a significant achievement for the team.

Another key objective was to witness fielders effectively retrieving the ball, being aware of where to throw it, and instructing them to throw while standing with proper basics of point and throw.

The coach emphasized the importance of avoiding throws while kneeling or sitting on the ground.

As the tournament progressed, this strategic focus on fielding techniques became evident, showcasing the team’s commitment to continuous improvement and intelligent gameplay.

Additionally, batters were instructed to play straight and focus on the V area on the offside. Improvement in these aspects was evident, with players showcasing remarkable progress in subsequent games.

One notable achievement for Mukono Cricket Community in the tournament was securing the fourth position out of the five participating teams.

Although they finished with the same two points as the hosts, Northerns Cricket Hub, Mukono distinguished itself with a superior net run rate.

Adding to their accomplishments, the girls’ team from Mukono Cricket Community clinched their first-ever victory since inception.

This historic win unfolded in their second game at the tournament, defeating Northerns Cricket Hub by 4 wickets.

The triumph not only marked a significant milestone but also symbolized the initiation of many victories yet to come for the aspiring team.

Individual accomplishments shone as well, with two players, Mbwali Naume and Naula Hasifa, scoring half-centuries.

Captain Naula Hasifa after winning the toss against East Enders and opted to bat first in the last game.

Both players received Player of the Match awards, adding two medals to the team’s accolades. Mbwali Naume’s outstanding performance earned her the title of the best batter of the tournament, accumulating a total of 117 runs.

Mbwali Naume receiving the medal from Mr Kintu Simon after her winning player of match.

Reflecting on the tournament, Mukono Cricket Community played four games, winning one and losing three, but the lessons learned were invaluable.

Chairman for Mukono Cricket Community Mr. Kintu Simon expressed his joy that none of the players sustained injuries and commended their positive attitude during after-match talks.

Expressing gratitude to Uganda Cricket Association and Northerns Cricket Hub for organizing the tournament, Mr. Kintu Simon sees it as a platform for girls to express themselves and grow towards international levels.

Looking ahead, with the focus shifting to the Schools league and the upcoming schools Cricket week, Mukono Cricket Community anticipates financial support from Uganda Cricket Association.

This will enable sending coaches to schools in the community, a crucial step in fostering the game’s growth and continuity.

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