The International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Manager-Africa, Patricia C Kambarami has commended Rwanda’s cricket transformation thanks to Gahanga Cricket stadium which is hosting the on-going ICC World T20 Africa B Qualifiers.
Rwanda is hosting the ICC World T20 Africa B Qualifiers which has brought together four African countries battling it out for honours over this week.
The tournament is being staged as part of the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 qualification and also marks the first time that Rwanda is hosting an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament.
Kambarami said in a release that, “Hosting the qualifiers is seen as a massive step in the right direction for Rwanda, whose rehabilitation through cricket is one of the game’s most heart-warming stories. The rise of the Gahanga Cricket Stadium is testament to this transformation, and Kambarami praised their efforts to this point.
“We’re looking forward to a great week of cricket. These qualifiers bring out the best in a lot of these players and we hope that trend will continue. We are thrilled with the preparations from Rwanda Cricket Association and hope that we can expand on the great strides they have made,” she encouraged.
“Cricket participation in Africa continues to grow with each passing year, and tournament such as this World T20 Africa B Qualifier are a wonderful way to keep spreading the bat and ball gospel’’ Kambarami added.
“It is great that we keep extending our network of venues that can host tournaments of this calibre. To see Rwandan cricket at this point now is very encouraging to other nations, and that is what we all want to see.”
Meanwhile, the ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier B head into day three on Tuesday with Tanzania facing Kenya at 9:30am before hosts Rwanda take on Uganda at 13:50.
Rwanda has lost two of their opening matches against Tanzania and Kenya played on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Tanzania got off to a bright start thumping Rwanda with a 79 run win on Saturday.
On Sunday, Kenya was also too powerful for hosts Rwanda. Alex Obanda and Collins Obuya both smashed quick-fire 63s, and there were also two other half-centuries in the top four.
It was too much for the honest, but limited endeavor of Rwanda, as Kenya closed their innings on a mammoth 270 for six. Still, Eric Niyomugabo tried valiantly, going to a stout 43. But wickets were falling around him, and he was one of two to fall to Shem Ngoche in the same over. Kenya eventually prevailed by 123 runs, as Rwanda closed on 147 for eight.
In other matches, Uganda defeated Tanzania by 64 runs on Sunday while on Saturday Kenya defeated Uganda in a thrilling match by four wickets.
The round-robin tourney will see the best two teams compete at the Africa Regional Finals, to be held in 2019.
The regional ICC World T20 qualifiers tournament in Rwanda is one of the three African sub-regional events, along with the north-western sub region qualifiers (staged in Nigeria) and the southern sub region qualifiers to be held in Botswana.
The top two teams in each of the three groups will advance to the Africa’s finals tournament, which will determine two countries that will compete at the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier.
In general, there will be 12 regional qualifiers across the world, with 62 teams competing during 2018 in five regions – Africa (3 groups), Americas (2), Asia (2), East Asia Pacific (2) and Europe (3).
The top 25 sides from these will then contest five regional finals in 2019, with eight teams then going on to compete in the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, along with the six lowest ranked sides from the current ICC T20 Championship.
Tuesday 10th July
9:30am: Tanzania vs Kenya
1:50pm: Uganda vs Rwanda
Wednesday 11th July
9:30am: Tanzania vs Uganda
1:50pm: Kenya vs Rwanda
12th July Reserve Day
Friday 13th July
9:30am: Kenya vs Tanzania
1:50pm: Rwanda vs Uganda
Saturday 14th July
9:30am: Tanzania vs Rwanda
1:50pm: Uganda vs Kenya