All To Play For At Kwibuka As Lady Cricket Cranes Eye Ranking Points

National Council of Sports official David Katende Ssemakula flagged off the new-look Lady Cricket Cranes side to Kigali, Rwanda for the sixth edition of the Kwibuka Women's T20 Tournament. National Council of Sports official David Katende Ssemakula flagged off the new-look Lady Cricket Cranes side to Kigali, Rwanda for the sixth edition of the Kwibuka Women's T20 Tournament.

By Innocent Ndawula

The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) gave its partisan fraternity a glimpse into the future by sending out a new-look, young, talented and energetic senior national women’s side – The Lady Cricket Cranes for the sixth edition of the Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Women’s T20 Tournament in Kigali, Rwanda.

Uganda’s side is without doubt an exciting mix; a reward to the six outstanding players that stood out in the Girls Cricket Week (GCW) in May and eight of the seasoned campaigners that are fresh from International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe that are looked at as a unit that will form the core of the Lady Cricket Cranes side for a long time in future.

Like the Victoria Tri-Series held in Uganda, this tournament, to be played at the beautiful Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, will have full Twenty20 International status as it will feature national sides as per ICC’s mandate to have all T20 games featuring nations attain that ranking.

The Lady Cricket Cranes side to Kigali has no less than seven players from the highly-rated Soroti Cricket Academy stable.

Defending champions and three-time winners Kenya have bowed out at 11th hour due to financial constraints whereas Zambia never confirmed when first contacted but the tournament will not be mourning their absence with two debutants – Mali from West Africa & Tanzania from East Africa – in the fold.

Second bite at cherry 

Lively all-rounder Rita Musamali of Aziz Damani gets a second bite at the cherry as captain of the side for the nine-day event that runs from June 16th to 24 in Kigali to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that claimed over one million lives in 100 days. In the absence of seniors; Franklyn Najjumba, Consy Aweko, Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Naomi Kayondo and Rachael Ntono, who were ‘ignored’ by the selectors in the favour of using the meet as an initiation ground for a new breed of players to kick-start their international careers, captain Musamali will look to club-mates Immaculate Nakisuyi, also the vice-captain and Stephanie Nampiina when the going gets tough.

Coach Michael Grace Ndiko will continue his gelling process with the side and he will be ably assisted by Ivan Kakande, fresh from coaching stint in Sri Lanka. Eight of the players on tour are from the Soroti Cricket Academy (SCA) stable whose head coach is Kakande. Four are actually from Olila High School won scooped their maiden GCW title after edging their friendly-foes Light SS of Soroti by six runs in the epic final played at Lugogo Oval on May 2.

“The selection of several youngsters is to look at the nearby future, two years to be specific, since that is the period when we expect the next Women World Cup Qualifiers to take place. We want to be ready by then. The more experienced players are still in our sights but the younger ones need more game time and guidance hence their domination of this time round,” said coach Ndiko.

Coach Michael Grace Ndiko and Ivan Kakande's Lady Cricket Cranes side will be looking to win only their third Kwibuka title. The tournament was initiated by the Rwanda Cricket Association in 2014.

The Kwibuka Cricket For Peace Tournament will be played on a two round-robin format with each country facing each other twice. The team with most points will be crowned 2019 champions.

CAST OF KWIBUKA T20 CHAMPIONS
2018: Kenya

2017: Kenya

2016: Uganda

2015: Kenya

2014: Uganda

ITINERARY FOR KWIBUKA CRICKET FOR PEACE WOMEN’S T20 TOURNAMENT
June 16: Arrival of Teams
June 17: Visit to Memorial Site, Training, Captains’ & Managers’ Meeting
June 18-23: Match Days
June 24: Team Departures

TOURNAMENT FIXTURES
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
9.30am: Tanzania vs. Uganda
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Mali 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 
9.30am: Mali vs. Tanzania 
1.30pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda                                                                                                                                                                             

Thursday, June 20, 2019
9.30am: Uganda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Tanzania

Friday, June 21, 2019
9.30am: Rwanda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Tanzania vs. Uganda

Saturday, June 22, 2019
9.30am: Mali vs. Tanzania 
1.30pm: Uganda vs. Rwanda

Sunday, June 23, 2019
9.30am: Uganda vs. Mali 
1.30pm: Rwanda vs. Tanzania 
NB: All Games Will Be Played At Gahanga International Cricket Stadium

UGANDA LADY CRICKET CRANES SQUAD
The Players
Rita Musamali (Capt) - Aziz Damani, Immaculate Nakisuyi (V. Capt) – Aziz Damani, Damalie Busingye - Olila High, Joyce Mary Apio – Olila High, Stephanie Nampiina – Aziz Damani, Maria Kagoya Nyende – Aziz Damani, Evelyn Ayipo – Soroti Challengers, Sarah Walaza – Jinja SSS, Esther Iluko – Olila HS, Proscovia Alako – Olila HS, Mildred Anyigo – Olila HS, Susan Kakai – Jinja SSS, Gloria Obukor – Olila HS, Christine Anayo – Light SSS, Soroti
The Reserves
Shubaiker Naigaga – Jinja SSS & Janet Nakiranda – Victoria HS
The Officials
Coach: Michael Grace Ndiko Assistant Coach: Ivan Kakande Physiotherapist: Habiba Kulsum Anguyo Manager: Lwiza Nabulwala

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