News about Uganda Cricket Association not renewing Laurence Mahatlane’s contract made airwaves a few weeks ago when local TV channel Nbsport ran the story.
UCA followed the allegations with a press release early last week confirming that indeed the South African’s three-year tenure in charge of the Cricket Cranes had come to an end.
In the press release, the process to fill the void had already commenced, and true to it, it didn’t take a week for the Association to announce that Mahatlane’s assistant who also worked with Mahatlane’s predecessor Steven Tikolo – Jackson Ogwang had been appointed Cricket Cranes coach in an interim basis.
The immediate task for the 33-year-old is leading the Cricket Cranes in Namibia at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers scheduled to take place between 20th November and 1st December.
It’s a task that comes with loads of pressure, but one that Ogwang is happy to take on.
“Every task comes with some kind of pressure, but this one, we are really looking forward to” Ogwang said.
“We have worked on a game plan and a certain brand of cricket we want to play. Our recent success has come from a brand where the boys express themselves in an aggressive and smart approach. We will continue doing the same going into the Qualifiers.”
As he takes up the mantle, Ogwang paid tribute to the man many cricket fans believe deserved a contract renewal.
“Its been a privilege to work with a coach from a test playing nation.
“I have learnt a lot from him; his organisational skills, player management skills, motivational skills, player performance plans and player development plans. Working with him has been a learning process for me.”
UCA made public the appointment of Ogwang early this week, but his official unveiling happened on Wednesday.
At the unveiling, Michael Nuwagaba, the chairman of the Association was present. He took time to clarify on the recent happenings at the Association and one of the things he talked about was why UCA decided against renewing Mahatlane’s contract.
“As the board, we feel our current coach (Laurence Mahatlane) has done a lot of good work for us. He has moved us from 33rd ranking to the current 23rd, but the thinking is to get higher, we need to shift some gears,” Nuwagaba said.
“So as the board, we took the decision not to renew his contract, and in the interim, we will be using our local content to take us through the coming events. Jackson Ogwang who has been under Mahatlane’s watch for three years will be in charge of the team.”
From Namibia and whatever transpires there, Ogwang will also be in charge of the Cricket Cranes as they seek to defend the T20 Africa Cup in South Africa in December.