The ninth edition of the Kwibuka women’s tournament has attracted five nations with hosts Rwanda, joined by Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Botswana. The annual women’s event has grown in stature since its inception from a bilateral between Uganda and Rwanda, into an international women’s event now.
The annual event couldn’t have come at a better time as all the teams taking part are preparing for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers later in the year. Kenya and Botswana will be competing in the Division 2 qualifiers for Africa in Botswana in October, while Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda will be at the final round in Kampala in December.
Tanzania who are the defending champions this year are a no show, and Namibia are also missing, who have been part of the event for the last two years are missing, which means the inform Uganda are the team to beat.
The Victoria Pearls who have won back-to-back international tournaments in Kampala and Namibia will be seeking a third international trophy as they build momentum towards the qualifiers that will be hosted in Kampala later in the year. Uganda has made three changes to the winning team from Namibia, but the core remains with Fairbreak-bound Proscovia Alako and Irene Alumo available alongside the experience of Concy Aweko, Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Stephanie Nampiina and Rita Musamali.
Immaculate Nakisuyi needs some runs to boost her confidence and Kwibuka gives her a chance to show her class. Debutants Lorna Anyait and Malisa Ariokot should get their chance at international cricket, while the other change in the side, Jimia Mohamad, has had a taste of international cricket with the Victoria Pearls on the Namibia tour last year. That tour was a rude awakening for her but she should get ready a better shot this time.
Kenya has been admitted back into ICC women’s competitions will be looking at testing their new look team and have the experienced Queentor Abel and Mary Wambui back in the side, having both missed the Victoria Series in Kampala. Esther Wanjeri takes over the leadership of the side since the retirement of Sharon Juma and Vanessa Adhiambo is still available to add some runs on the board for the side.
The hosts Rwanda keeps rising and at 26th in the World T20 rankings they know Uganda at 19th and Kenya in 23rd are within sight, the Rwandans had a great Victoria Series defeating Kenya and Tanzania and they will be looking at adding to that progress at home. Henriette Ishimwe will be the star player for them after winning two MVP awards in the previous two international events for Rwanda.
The female Yellow-Greens of Nigeria come to Rwanda in confident mood after winning their own Nigeria women’s invitational tournament in April. The youthful side has its mentor Etim Blessing as the Captain but the hard work is done by the young ones such as Adeshola Adekunele, Sunday Salome, Lucky Piet and Favour Eseigbe. Nigeria has never won the tournament but with the playing field even they will be hoping they at least find themselves in the final.
Botswana makes their 3rd appearance at the Kwibuka and they want to impress this time around. They have struggled in Rwanda on previous visits and they will be hoping that time time they can fair much better. They will be hosting the Division 2 qualifiers for the women and this tournament gives them a chance to get things right ahead of the tournament.
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