The central edition of the Batball Open tournament was today launched at the Lugogo Cricket Oval, with it’s slogan ‘Fight against HIV/AIDS’ being the headliner.
The talent identification and development tourney will bowl off on Saturday March 18 at the Green Oval in Entebbe, with four teams including Naddibanga, Ensega, Akasumagizi and Kalooli taking part.
This is the inaugural edition in the central region, but it is the fourth overall. This regional tournament was previously held in regions of North, Nile and East where Agak, Buutu and Ejibat respectively came out victors.
For the benefit of it’s purpose which is carving pathways for Ugandan talent, Batball’s focus is majorly on the boy child. Asked why they opted for only boys, Martin Ondeko, Batball Chief Operating Officer while addressing the media said:
“Most times people say we are neglecting the girl child, but the same is being done to the boy child.
“When you look at the social issues we are trying tackle using this tournament, you realize that the people who cause these issues are actually the boys.
“Because they’re idle, they end up getting involved in gender based violence, impregnate teenage girls. But if they’re engaged and busy playing some cricket, it takes their mind away from certain vices that could be detrimental to the public.”
For Uganda Cricket Association, this tournament goes a long way in helping them in identifying talent across the country. Joshua Mwanja, UCA’s Operations Manager emphasizes on it.
“As an association, our mandate is to develop the game in the country. Batball helps us in nurturing the young talent. It also helps us in giving these kids more playing time.
“This means that the kids are getting more exposed to cricket, playing against each other. We use such tournaments to identify the next U19 players.”
As it’s been the case in other regions, 16 players will be selected from this edition, with the ultimate goal being the Batball X Challenge.
The 16 will compete against the very best from the aforementioned regions later this year.