23 February 2013

Kenya: No Love Lost in Lugogo 'Feud'

It's commonly said to not forget where you came from.

Today, Uganda national cricket team coaches Martin Suji and Steve Tikolo will look across the crease and recall memories and experiences they gained as members of the Kenya cricket team for over 15 years prior to moving to Uganda.

The two will today lead Uganda in the opening match of the Pepsi ICC Africa World Cricket League Division 1 showdown in Kampala. Suji was coach of the national team for a year in 2009 when Tikolo was the captain of the Kenya team.

The two moved to Uganda after some frustration from the then CK and have already settled and are looking forward to leading their new team to the next level of the event.

They will start that by hoping to beat a side they spent much of their youthful years trying to build today at Lugogo Oval in Kampala. However, Suji doesn't plan on letting his own emotions get in the way of the task at hand.

"I tend not to, I don't have a lot of sentimentality for that," Suji said. "Inevitably, you're going to come across guys that you coached with and coached against. No matter who we play, we need to be the same, so, it wouldn't really be a good message if certain games had more meaning for me, or more emotion for me than others."

The tournament involves five teams, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Nigeria and hosts Uganda. The winning nation along with the runners up and Namibia will represent Africa at the ICC's penultimate round in the U.A.E.

The Africa region will thus have three teams playing at the qualifiers in the UAE next year. "People sometimes have a lifetime of coaching experience without having the chance to face your country. I am looking forward for the match," Tikolo who took over as batting coach last year said.

Since taking over, the two have changed Uganda cricket fortunes and have transformed the side into a formidable side that stands a chance to give Kenya a run for their money today

Uganda had two teams in the finals of the East Africa Premier League and Cup last year and the experience the players got will definitely play a big role in the match. In December, Uganda were in Nairobi for a series of matches against Kenya and registered impressive wins.

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