Ronnie Kintu (New Vision Newspaper, Kampala)
THE fifth edition of the national Castle Lager league championship kicked off on May 7 with Tornado CC aiming for the fourth title. Only two clubs have won the prestigious Castle League title in the past but a close look at the other clubs would give the league that perfect competition that could put the trophy on wire with close contenders like ACC, Wanderers and the newly established Rounders CC.
(Captain: Keith Legesi)
Having started the winning exploits in 1999, Tornado lost in 2002 to Wanderers CC but has since maintained the top slot. They won all the silverware last year including the Mawanda and Luswata Cup knockout cups. The side boasts of eight national team players including captain Joel Olweny and national coach Henry Okecho. It was this bulk of talented players that orchestrated a record last year dismissing Patidar CC for a paltry nine runs in a single match. They have all the potential to lift the trophy again.
(Captain: Lawrence Sematimba)
They have in the last four years finished in the second slot of the league. Steven Luswata's side has the talent in youthful players like Junior Kwebiiha,Ronald Semanda and Arthur Kyobe among others. They are indeed close contenders and proved a mark with a win against Tornado last year - the only side to have beaten the champions. They are joined by semi-professional Kenneth Kamyuka this year.
(Captain: Davis Arinaitwe)
Wanderers won the Castle Lager league in 2002 and that was it. In the past they have lost big names like John Lubia, Michael Ndiko, David Meya and Richard Sempa to other clubs, probably one reason for their under par of late. Sam Walusimbi's side has invested in grooming many youngsters to possibly regain the lost glory.
Tornado B CC
(Captain: Jeremy Musoke)
They will be in the fray for the second year running again under the guidance of veteran William Kibuka Musoke, currently the oldest player in the national league. Raymond Otim, Emmy Kibirango and a band of youngsters should be able to feel up the vacuum left by all-rounder Kenneth Kamyuka.
(Captain: David Musoke)
After beating Wanderers at Entebbe oval last year, Arthur Nuwagaba's side seems inspired to cause more upsets this year. With man-of-series 2005 Roger Mukasa in their ranks, Nile could come of age after signing many youngsters including Arthur Ziraba fresh from secondary schools. Dan Ligyalingi and Bashir Ansasira are some of the old guns on the team.
Castle XI CC
Captain: Richard Sempa
With a composition of six senior players and six upcoming youngsters, the Ugandan Cricket Association's sponsors' team Castle XI has the potential to take on any side. Their wins against Tornado B, Nile CC and Wanderers CC last year remain an encouragement for better things ahead.U-17 captain Yakub Ahmed, Michael Abala and Moses Otiti will line up against old fox like David Meya, Martin Muyomba and Sempa.
(Captain: Nirav Patel)
They suffered most last year after that dreadful result of nine runs all out against Tornado at Entebbe oval. Patidar will pray that U-19 opening batsman Mauneek Solanki keeps in their ranks otherwise they could fade out.
JACC is yet to unveil the new captain after an exodus of players including Bob Ndimwibo, Agrey Kintu and Habib Mugalura to the newly formed Rounders CC. The side would again depend on students from surrounding playing schools like Busoga College Mwiri, Jinja SSS, St James and Kira College Butiki.
Captain: Bob Ndimwibo
These are the new boys on the block. Former JACC captains Bob Ndimwibo and Habibu Mugalula, top off spinner Aggrey Kintu and former Jinja SS captain Muhammed Munana are the brains behind the new club. They are a composition of former players of JACC now in higher centers of learning or working in Kampala.