“I guess that’s not good luck,” New Cricket Cranes coach Suraj Karavadra humorously said in reference to the broken glass that had just been knocked down by a journalist who was finding her way out of the press room. The watershed moment provoked bursts of laughter in the pressroom, and more so depictated how joyous the new gaffer can be.
However, Karavadra has his work cut out as he starts his new role as Cricket Cranes Coach.
And he will need to unleash his tougher side when need be if he is to get the best of his job.
In his brief remarks, he wants to improve Uganda’s 18th T20 ranking in Women’s Cricket reminiscent of his counterpart Laurence Mahatlane who months ago sat in a nearby room and promised an ODI status for the Cricket Cranes. And Karavadra has to deliver his promise by two years.
The Indian by Nationality has had stints with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, worked as U19 men’s and Women’s development coach in UAE among others but his current one is set to prove the most high profile and more so challenging task.
Before laying down his mandate, Karavadra narrated at breadth his closeness to Uganda as he talked up his grandfather who was a businessman in Jinja. He also revealed that his Father revisited Uganda about four years ago. Its that connection that enticed him to take up the job.
“I have done a lot of research about Cricket in Africa, I have followed Uganda, and wanted the jersey and so its great to have it finally,” said Karavadra who has been staying in the United Kingdom. “Its always been my ambition to give back to a country like Uganda, my family has lived here for almost 50 years. So this is a door that has been closed for me.”
“Its a massive job for me, many people came to me while I was in England and kept asking me whether I was nervous and scared, they wanted to know what was going on in my mind, my response was that am excited to make a difference and make a mark and improve because there are lots of developments that needs to be done here.”
We have three big tourneys, our long term ambition is retain a good position in the T20 rankings.
He added that he is ready to hit the ground running and give 150%. “In the future, we can be one of the best teams in Africa, and that’s my ultimate goal.”
Karavadra’s dream may not be wide of the mark for a nation that won the African Championship in 2017 in Namibia, a feat that yielded a ticket for the 2018 Global Qualifiers in Netherlands. It did not go well thereafter, but the Lady Cricket Cranes want to make amends but virtually want to make qualification a norm. The T20 World Cup Qualifiers are fast approaching in September and a ticket is up for grabs to reach another stage. A spot at the coveted 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is also lurking.
Uganda Cricket Cranes Chairman Bashir Ansasira says that Karavadra is “very very” proffessional and its a “big honour” for Uganda to have him. Ansasira whose term ends later on May 29, said that he is very proud that he is leaving Women Cricket in good stead.
Lady Cricket Cranes batsman Rachael Ntono is excited: “We are excited that he will be bringing new ideas to see us qualify again. I have not had a chance to talk to him but I have heard his plan is exciting. I am an opening batter, and I hope he can improve my resilience as I want to stay there on the crease longer.”