CWB volunteer Mat Danks takes a step to one side to look closely at the group's visit to Lango College earlier today….


Team leader John Morton will be along in just a short while with the ‘proper’ day 12 blog, but just felt compelled to put pen to paper about our morning at Lango College.

Myself, Nad, James, Michelle and Yusuf visited this boarding school this morning after spending part of yesterday with Jimmy Ogwang and a group of his children.

The school is home to around 800 boys from around the country aged 12 to 17.

I’d not be stepping out of line by admitting that some of the sessions here in northern Uganda have been challenging, particularly with some of the poorer schools, with some barriers to be overcome in terms of understanding and language. But that’s all part of the fun.

To be fair, there are no such challenges with these lot.

As you’d perhaps expect from a boarding school, these lads were polite, speak better English than me (which ay hard, as they say round my way) and – only weeks after being introduced to the sport – play better cricket (which again ay hard, as my team mates back at Walsall Health CC will testify).

Having done basics with them yesterday, we did more advanced stuff today with James introducing them to pull shots which they grasped quickly and learned to smack the fuzz off the tennis balls with aplomb.

"Have a bit of that!"

We had the pleasure of speaking with Okello Alfred, the warm, amiable and well-spoken headmaster at the school, who expressed his intention to get cricket well established on the curriculum.

When he was a student, cricket was incredibly popular and he intended to do all he could to ensure it became part of school life at Lango.

There’s an argument to say that working with such schools is ‘easy’, a more convenient route to take to getting cricket established in the north of Uganda as opposed to working with the more needy educational establishments.

But my argument would be that it needs to work both ways.

Yes, cricket must be inclusive and working with some of the schools where they’re unlikely to have seen a white person in the flesh, let alone a cricket bat, has been a real joy of this trip.

However, if the sport is to take root quickly, it will be through schools like this one – and Sir Samuel Baker in Arua – where naturally gifted athletes can pick the game up quickly and the sport can become organised.

And, as James rightly pointed out, it is from these ranks of intelligent and articulate youngsters, that the inspirational coaches of the future, the next generation of Ugandan cricketing superstars, will emerge.

Uganda Cricket Association, over to you.