The Uganda women’s national cricket team, Victoria Pearls were on Tuesday flagged off for the 2022 edition of the Kwibuka Invitational tournament that bowls off on Thursday, 9th June at Gahanga Cricket Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Victoria Pearls are fresh from the triumphant tour of Nepal where they defeated the hosts 3-2, this victory moved them from 21st to 19th in the World rankings.
Laurence Ssematimba who is the Victoria Pearls head coach says that his side are in good shape for the Kigali showpiece noting that a few drills at home in the recent past has sharpened the side further.
“We have worked on our skills especially batting…the girls are in good shape and we’re going to work hard. We’re in good position to bring the trophy home” Ssematimba said.
There are only two changes from the side that travelled to Nepal with Franklin Najjumba and Rita Nyagendo missing out, their replacements being Gloria Obukor and Naomi Kayondo. Gloria Obukor was the best batter in the womens T20 league and her inclusion is no surprise. Consy Aweko and Janet Mbabazi will be Captain and Vice-Captain for the team respectively.
“Rita has been struggling with batting that’s why we brought in Obukor because she’s good in that aspect,” Ssematimba noted adding that the tournament means a lot to them.
The 2022 edition of the Kwibuka tournament that has T20i status has attracted two new comers Germany from Europe and Brazil from the Americas region.
There are eight nations in the event that include hosts Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Brazil and Germany. Kenya are the defending champions.
Janet Mbabazi who has been in prolific form for the Victoria Pearls this year will again be one of the key players for Uganda as they look to pick up their third Kwibuka title. Senior players Rita Musamali and Kevin Awino were also in good touch in Nepal and they will also be required to put in a good shift.
The Victoria Pearls withdrew from the 2021 edition at the last minute after being hit by Covid-19 but the team has been part of the Kwibuka since its maiden edition in 2014.
The Full Team:
Consy Nimungu Aweko (Captain), 2. Janet Mbabazi (Vice-Captain), 3. Kevin Awino, 4. Rita Musamali, 5. Patricia Malemikia, 6. Phiona Egaru Kulume, 7. Sarah Akiteng, 8. Susan Kakai, 9. Naomi Kayondo, 10. Gloria Obukor, 11. Leona Mirembe Babirye, 12. Evelyn Anyipo, 13. Shakirah Sadick, 14. Sarah Walaza.
1.Laurence Ssematimba (Head Coach), 2. Laurence Ssempija (Assistant Coach), 3. Imam Tugume (Team Physiotherapist), 4. Rita Tinka (Team Manager).