Ugandan cricket fans are buzzing with excitement as the national women’s cricket team prepares to take on the challenges of the upcoming ICC T20 Women’s Africa World Cup Qualifiers at the Entebbe Cricket Oval this Friday.
The spotlight shines brightly on Uganda as the hosts of the tournament from December 7th to 17th. The tournament feature a lineup of eight nations, including cricket powerhouses Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya, and Botswana.The teams are divided into two groups; Group A includes; Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana, and Kenya and Group B composed of Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda
The quest for glory begins on the pitch, with the top two teams from each group earning coveted spots in the semifinals. The ultimate goal is a ticket to the Global Qualifiers in Dubai 2024, promising an intense showdown of cricketing prowess.
As the cricketing world converges on Uganda, the teams are set to arrive on December 7th, finding a warm welcome at the Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe. The cricketing action kicks off on December 9th, with the hallowed grounds of the Entebbe Cricket Oval as the sole stage for this cricketing spectacle.
In a gesture of community inclusivity, the Uganda Cricket Association extends an open invitation to fans far and wide. The call is simple: “Come with a Friend” or “Jangu Ne Munno” in Luganda. The association aims to transform the Entebbe Cricket Oval into a sea of passionate supporters, rallying behind their favorite teams.
The Ugandan squad, consisting of a blend of seasoned veterans and promising newcomers, is poised to make a strong impact in the qualifiers. Players like Kevin Awino, Proscovia Alako, Irene Alumo, and Janet Mbabazi bring valuable experience and leadership to the team, while younger players like Evelyn Anyipo, Patricia Malemekia, and Immaculate Nakisuuyi inject fresh energy and enthusiasm.
The qualifiers, set to take place at the Entebbe Cricket Oval from December 7 to 17, will see Uganda praying against Namibia, Nigeria, and Rwanda in Group B. Group A features Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana, and Kenya. The top two teams from each group will advance to the global qualifiers, where they will compete for a place in the prestigious T20 Women’s World Cup to be hosted by Bangladesh in 2024.
In a generous spirit, there will be no entrance fee throughout the tournament, breaking down barriers and inviting the local community in Entebbe and beyond to savor the thrill of top-tier women’s cricket.
Leading the charge is the Local Organizing Committee, spearheaded by the dynamic CEO of Uganda Cricket Association, Alan Mugume. Supported by Joshua Mwanja, UCA Operations Manager, and Grace Mutyagaba, UCA Development Officer, the committee is poised to ensure a seamless and unforgettable cricketing experience for players and fans alike.
The Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a successful campaign for the national team. “We have meticulously planned and prepared for this event, ensuring that both the hosting arrangements and the team’s preparation are at their best,” remarked Alan Mugume, the UCA’s CEO.
The Ugandan cricket team’s journey begins on December 10 as they face off against Rwanda in their opening match. The nation’s cricket enthusiasts are fervently rooting for their team, hoping for a glorious victory and a step closer to the T20 Women’s World Cup.
As the countdown begins, Uganda stands ready to welcome the cricketing world to its shores, showcasing not only sporting prowess but also the spirit of unity and friendship that defines the world of cricket. The stage is set, the players are primed, and the fans are invited to let the T20 Women’s Africa World Cup Qualifiers unfold in all their glory.
History of the Uganda women’s national cricket team
The Uganda women’s national cricket team has become a strong symbol of the country’s cricketing prowess on the world stage. They kicked off their journey in January 2006 with initial matches in a triangular series involving Kenya.
In December 2006, the team faced a tough challenge in the African regional qualifiers for the 2009 World Cup. Despite finishing third in the tournament against strong teams like Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, Uganda’s women displayed resilience and determination, hinting at a positive future for women’s cricket in the region.
Since those early days, the team has evolved, refining their skills and gaining valuable experience on the international scene. Their journey stands as a testament to the dedication and passion that drives women’s cricket forward in Uganda, inspiring both players and fans alike.
In April 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) brought about a significant change for women’s cricket by granting full Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) status to all its member nations. This decision meant that every Twenty20 match involving Uganda women and any international opponent since July 1, 2018, would be officially recognized as full WT20I matches. This move highlighted the global recognition and elevation of women’s cricket.
Uganda made its debut in the WT20I arena in July 2018, marking a historic moment in the team’s journey. The initial WT20I match against Scotland during the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier held in the Netherlands not only showcased Uganda’s cricketing abilities but also represented growing opportunities for women in the sport on the international stage.
In June 2019, Uganda women scored an impressive 314 runs against Mali in the Kwibuka Women’s T20 Tournament. This not only secured a resounding victory but also marked the highest total for any team, regardless of gender, in a T20 international match.
Looking ahead to the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, the International Cricket Council announced the qualification pathway in December 2020. Uganda found itself named in the 2021 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier regional group, standing alongside ten other competitive teams participating for a desired spot in the global spectacle.
In a significant step towards supporting women’s cricket talent, the Uganda Cricket Association made a groundbreaking announcement in 2023. The introduction of central contracts for twelve women players underscored a commitment to providing stability and recognition for the athletes, fostering an environment for their growth and development in the sport.
As Uganda’s women’s cricket team continues its journey on the global stage, these milestones represent not only individual achievements but also the collective progress made by the nation in embracing and promoting women’s cricket at every level. The future holds the promise of more accomplishments and recognition as Uganda’s cricketing story unfolds on the international platform.