Please welcome Ugandan born Isanga to the Bay 13 stable.
You may recognise him as the 24 year old intern from the “Can’t Bowl Can’t Throw” podcast.
In his debut piece, he shares with us what cricket means to him. [Dennis]
Like many Melburnians, we believe our fair city is the greatest sporting capital in the world, let alone in Australia.
Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, Etihad Stadium and the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Melbourne summer plays host to a hive of activity. There is the tradition of the Boxing Day Test, the Stars and Renegades doing battle in the BBL foes – cricket has always had a special place in the heart of Melbournians.
The format maybe changing as seen when 80,000 filled the MCG for the Melbourne Derby but rather than an easy heartbeat of Test cricket, we want the thrill of T20 cricket. A special mention must go out to the Australian Open and the Australian Grand Prix but c’mon…more cricket!
I reside in a quiet neighbourhood in the south-east of Melbourne, where I occasionally play a bit of cricket.
My father will never say it, I showed some promise as a fast bowler and I put in the hard work to make it my way up the grade cricket ladder. Alas soft tissue injuries took their toll and I don’t have the talent and support afforded to the likes Shane Watson. In the short-term, I am an arm-chair captain, umpire and commentator. In my hiatus, I am President of my alumni cricket club. I face an endless barrage of bouncers from my better and faster 17-year-old brother. (Let it be noted I cannot pull or hook).
On the odd occasion, my even younger 13-year-old sister joins in on the act and regularly sends my middle stump rocking back. I am 24. I’ve had to quit playing. ‘At least I’m the best cricketer in my family’ echoes loud at the back of my head.
I am Mark Waugh.
On January 26 2016, the India Women secured a record run chase against the Southern Stars in Adelaide whilst thousands of new Australians received their citizenship. Over 150 nations were represented at the various citizenship ceremonies around the country and we welcome them with open arms.
We’ve been citizens for over ten years.
We are Ugandans.
To anyone over 45, Uganda is Idi Amin, for those under 45 it is Kony and for the well travelled nature lovers, it’s silverbacks.
In the nets, most believe we are Caribbean, South African or English.
Upon arrival, you may see: a young man trying to bat like Chris Gayle, a young boy running in like Kagiso Rabada or a 13-year-old Ebony-Jewel Rainford-Brent learning the craft of swing bowling. All this under the watchful eye of the Super Cat, Clive Lloyd. You’ll open the door and your confusion is understood, a hearty ‘G’day’ or a ‘blokey’ nod of acknowledgement as we sweat under the Melbourne sun.
I was a net bowler for the South Africans during their tour down under in 2009. As I wondered around the MCG indoor nets, someone yells excitedly in my direction in a language I do not understand. Confused, I reply with noting but a blank stare. Later Makhaya Ntini repeating himself in Afrikaans excitedly walks in my direction. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are in tow. Again nothing but a blank stare. Dale is clearly unimpressed, Morne is indifferent.
My childhood hero is disappointed. I met three titans of South African cricket and all I could do was stare blankly at them. It is still one of the best moments of my life.
Regardless of talent and skill, once you enter the nets all players are the same. Once you enter the nets, all you want to do is improve and get better. Not so long ago, I was batting in my local nets and a diminutive player strolls in. He kits up with his Melbourne Stars helmet and pads. He proceeds to take guard and have balls thrown at him. Improve, you could read in his eyes, hit the ball better, hit your gaps. There I was swinging as hard as I could in an attempt to show him up.
This great game has and will continue to shape the person I am and will be. Growing up with cricket has taught me the values of hard work. This game has taught me to understand myself. The game has taught me to keep a level head up. This game has taught me the value of asking for help. This game has taught me to keeping striving for that perfect cover drive, that back of the hand slower ball and that satisfied client.
I will be back next season.
I love my cricket.