Ever since Johan Rudolph took over the national team coaching role last July, a lot of water has gone under the bridge. Despite his critical keenness on players’ efforts and the vast time invested in the gym and nets, there was hardly any batting improvement in Team Uganda’s ranks on the international front.
In the same line, Uganda won just two of 17 matches overall at the ICC Twenty20 & ODI World Cup Qualifier tournaments in UAE and New Zealand.
And after that, it is no secret that Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is unlikely to renew the South African tactician’s seven-month contract which ended on January 31, albeit a pending final pronouncement from the board. “We are a board and make collective decisions. I am sorry I can’t comment on that.” UCA Honorary Secretary Jackson Kavuma told this Kawowo Sports when contacted on the future of Rudolph.
Even in the shadow of two dismal outings, the 52-year-old believes Uganda has the potential to challenge and perform like all the top eight ICC Associate nations. “There is no doubt that Uganda has the talent to match the big sides like Ireland, UAE or Hong Kong,” the South African tactician is quoted by Daily Monitor on return from New Zealand last week.
Prior to returning to South Africa in company of his fiancée Elmarie du Plessis, the former Namibia coach emphasized the fact that the current crop of players need more experience if Uganda is to match the leading Associates. “If Uganda is to move up the ranks, the players require exposure particularly overseas in countries with competitive List A cricket. It is the only way to move forward,”
But the fatherly figure could not hide his frustration after Uganda failed to secure a slot in the ICC Division II pool at the three-week event. “I was left so disappointed by our performances in Tauranga,” Rudolph disclosed with his hands sequentially rubbing through his hair. “We did a number of drills, tried a number of combinations with bowlers and batsmen and I engaged the players through different game situations,” “But it all did not work out. The players did not offer much more so with the bat.”
His expressions were enough to paint the picture of a man who was often left disgruntled every after his side’s innings at the Bay Of Plenty last month. Of all his 38 matches in charge of the Cricket Cranes and the Nile Knights franchise, Rudolph won only 16 and lost 20 to account for his 42.1% winning ratio.
RUDOLPH’s RECORD IN UGANDA AT A GLANCE
ICC World Cup Qualifier – New Zealand Played: 10, Won: 2, Lost: 8
ICC Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier – UAE Played: 9, Won: 1, Lost: 7, No result: 1
South Africa Warm-Up Tour Played: 9, Won: 8, Lost: 1
East Africa T20 Premier League & 50-Over Cup Played: 10, Won: 5, Lost: 4, No result: 1
Overall – Played: 36, Won: 15, Lost: 19, No result: 3 Match percentage win – 42.1%