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Celebrating retired Cricket Cranes skipper Masaba

Brian Masaba (Left) and Riazat Shah

Brian Masaba (Left) and Riazat Shah

Brian Masaba had harboured the idea of retiring from the Cricket Cranes T20 team for the last six months.

So, when he announced last week, that he was relinquishing the captaincy, during the team’s luncheon at Roza Dymz in Kololo,organized to welcome them back from the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies, Masaba knew exactly what to say amidst the emotions.

However, as Masaba outlined why his decision was the best thing for the game, his coherence in all simply pointed to how good he has been. His successor will inevitably have an act to follow.

Masaba said: “I believe this is a good team with many leaders. That is why, even as I leave my role, I am not worried about its future.”

At 34, Masaba has been at his prime, and, for some, they will consider his decision to quit T20 cricket as pointless. But at the same time, a setback to Ugandan cricket. Masaba was considered as one of its finest thinkers. Yet, it is also hard to run away from the fact that the captain’s job is a thankless one.

For the last five years at the helm, Masaba has had to carry the load of whatever fallouts, when the team is at its lowest. Indeed, it does not come easy. A captain plays a part in the team selection, talking to his teammates, setting the tactical approach while on the oval, and also being the father and mother.

As a mouthpiece of the team, he has got to find out about his team’s well-being on and off the oval, to ensure that they have no destruction, which could affect their performance. And when they performed well, he and the team got the praise. Yet, when they failed, he would be the battering ram for his decisions on the oval, which were considered fundamental for the team’s performance.

However, Masaba took all this on the chin. And being the simple guy that he is, he was not one to complain.

“Being a captain taught me a lot in as far as leadership is concerned. It has helped me mature and become a better person in terms of how to manage people,” Masaba said.

As Masaba retires from T20 cricket, he remains available for the 50 overs game. Uganda will be competing in the ICC Challenge Cup later this year against Bahrain, Italy, Hong Kong and Tanzania. In the meantime, the question that is abound, is who replaces him? Riazat Shah was Uganda’s best batter at the World Cup. This was a mark of his consistency over the last couple of years.

Riazat’s understanding of the game, makes him a big candidate to replace Masaba, But what he cannot replace, is the honour Masaba felt leading his country, seeing the flag waved, as the anthem played. It was a dream come true, as his five-wicket haul in four games will remain indelible.

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