Cricket bats in Jinja, Uganda

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Sam writes:

Please find attached a picture of several cricket bats in an unusual place, namely a glass case in a shop in Jinja, Uganda.

Cricket bats in Jinja

I took this picture as I was walking along the main road in Jinja, which is a fairly small town about an hour’s drive away from Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

I was with a friend who was looking for a swimming costume. She had entered into a detailed discussion with a shop assistant about the relative merits of a black two-piece bikini. Much as I would have liked to add my tuppenceworth and offer my photography skills should she be inclined to try the garment for size, I felt restraint would be the better part of valour and stepped out into the suffocating heat of the afternoon.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice there are several popular brands of cricket bat on offer here, and even a couple which are mysteriously wrapped in some sort of opaque covering. Uganda, unlike its neighbour Kenya, is not known for cricket. The football boots adorning the glass case only serve to further demonstrate this. You know you see those pictures where one thing juxtaposed with another thing illustrates some sort of poignant symbolism? This is a bit like that. If you squint.

I would say it’s unlikely that any of those bats will ever be released from their wooden prison. They will stay there for eternity, or until they rot away, like poor deformed orphan children, staring out into a country filled with youngsters who would kick a tramp’s head down the road if they thought it looked like a football.

I may or may not have had a drink with lunch before I wrote this piece.

Until next time, comrades.

Send your pictures of cricket bats and other cricket stuff in unusual places to


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  1. Of all the Jinjas in all the towns in all the world, you walk into this one. And find cricket bats. Play it Sam, play it one more time.

  2. Did you discuss Uganda at all with your swimming-costume-purchasing friend, Sam? Someone simply HAD to ask that question.

    Anyway, nice piece.

    …the article, I mean…

    …not the swimming costume…

    …nor your friend who was trying on the costume.

  3. No one can steal those bats even if they stay there for eternity. The one-eyed monitor watches over them.

  4. Uganda has been an Associate member of the ICC since 1998, seemingly, so maybe there is hope for these bats yet. The Wikipedia entry states very helpfully: “The Uganda national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Uganda in international cricket matches.” It’s good to have that cleared up.

  5. Uganda has a significant Indian population. I was there just last month on business, and Indian kids were playing – no surprise – cricket with their fathers and friends.

  6. Cricket bats in a sports shop is stretching the bounds of unusualness I think. Unless a wider shot shows that this is actually a butcher’s I’m going to disregard this one

  7. Thanks for the tepid feedback, gang. I would expect nothing less. I look forward to more of the same under my next match report.

  8. I have played cricket in, and against, Uganda on several occasions. They have a thriving youth development programme and have just been promoted to div 2 of the World Cricket League (only one division below Kenya). Those bats might go quicker than you think

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