By Clare Ross

As John once said ‘The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry’…and so we faced the prospect of our final day in Kilembe with no schools to visit. Thankfully, Luke and Alpha got on the case sharpish and by 9.30am had managed to drum up some interest with Kilembe High School. We had coached them previously, so knew they had a grasp of the basics. This and the smaller group size, about 30, gave us some room to manoeuvre. Luke plumped for an ambitious session: a spin master class.

It paid off. Big time.

photo (5)

We ran through leg spin; from grip through to full action. I think for most, the concept of spin was new and so, for so many to pick it up as quickly as, they did blew my mind. Pretty much everyone got the ball to turn, and there were certainly some who looked like natural leggies.

It’s no master class if you can’t face spin – so we progressed to batting, specifically on a hop, skip and jump down the track, in time to play a beautiful lofted drive/smash it out the park (delete as appropriate). Obviously, a favourite with the kids and needless to say our tennis ball stash took a hit.

We wrapped up with some keeping. Again, I think another first for the kids. While their techniques probably wouldn’t be found in any textbook/manual, in general, their reactions were superb and I saw some sweet takes.

Finally, we leave Kilembe with a success story. Monday, one of the young guys who has taken part in the coach ed, left high school early with no qualification because he couldn’t afford the fees. He’s been down to participate or help us out every day we’ve been in Kasese and his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.

Steven, a teacher at Rwenzori Demo School, was impressed with Monday’s way with the children and his cricket skills. These skills combined with his new CWB qualification have encouraged Steven to offer Monday a job: helping to teach the youngest kids during the day and running a cricket club after a school.

Over the next day or so we move to Fort Portal, our last stop, via Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kasese. Kilembe. It’s been a pleasure: the enthusiasm for the game and appetite to learn is inspiring, not to mention the beautiful scenery.

And now we’re all hoping the next time CWB visit Kilembe, there’ll be a leg-spinner or two!