The UAE start their African tour in Kampala as they take part in the second edition of the Victoria Series. The second edition will be missing the defending champions Zimbabwe from the inaugural edition in 2019, but the second edition will not be short of quality.
The rise of the women’s game in the East African region means little separates each team in the region. Kenya historically has dominated the men’s game in the region but Tanzania has always had the edge when it comes to the women’s game, and no surprise that they are the highest ranked in the region at 16th. Uganda is starting to show the signs that helped them become African Champions in 2017, and now with an experienced team that is in form, they fancy their chances as hosts to win their own tournament.
Janet Mbabazi has just been named the 2022 Female Cricketer of the Year, and at her first international assignment this year, her teammates will be hoping that she repeats the heroics of 2022. Former Captain Immaculate Nakisuyi looks to be enjoying her cricket again and her power game will be a necessity, especially since Uganda like batting second. Concy Aweko was the highest wicket-taker in women’s T20I cricket last year and she will be required to lead from the front.
UAE ranked 15th in the World has everything to lose and comes to Kampala with a big reputation, and ICC Associate Women’s Cricketer of the Year Esha Oza will be a key player. Captain Chaya Mughal understands the expectation might weigh heavy on them, but they will take each game at a time and make sure they respect their opponents. UAE will travel to Namibia for a four-nation tournament immediately after the Victoria Series and this will be a test for them as they prepare for the Asian Games.
Kenya will be relying on past pedigree and the steel of always standing up in clutch moments but on paper they are a touch behind the other sides. Sharon Juma and Daisy Njoroge are the veterans on the side and will need to do a lot of heavy lifting for a largely inexperienced side. They are ranked just above Rwanda in 26th in the World but will be in a lot of trouble if they can’t match up with the other teams.
Rwanda visits Kampala with nothing to lose, the rising ladies of cricket in the region will be the team to watch out for especially with some exciting young talent. Henriette Ishimwe has been named Women’s Player for the Month of March and she will be together with her namesake Gisele Ishimwe the go-to girl for Rwanda. They have a very intelligent leader in Diane Bimenyimana who by her own standards is a class player.
Sara Uwera struggles in Kampala, but she got runs in the Nigeria Invitational tournament that could give her some confidence. The two experienced players were part of the women’s elite league organized by Uganda early this year and therefore some of their opposition will be familiar.
Tanzania has gone to experience to make sure that they leave Kampala with their reputation intact, Fatuma Kibasu will lead the side that has as many seven changes from the side that took part in the quadrangular tournament in Kenya in December. They are the second-highest-ranked team in the tournament at 16th in the world and they will have a lot to lose in form of points if those below them get something over them.
The tournament will be played in a round-robin format with two games every day with a final for the top two teams.
UAE: Chaya Mughal (Captain), Esha Oza, Kavisha Kumari Nanayakkarewasan Egodage, Theertha Satish, Kushi Mohan Sharma, Lavanya Keny, Vaishnave Mahesh, Indhuja Nandakumar, Archara Supriya, Avanee Sunil Patil, Sanchin, Geethika Jyothis, Rintha Rajith, Rishitha Rajith
Rwanda: Sarah Uwera, Diana Marie Bimenyimana (Captain), Alice Ikuzwe, Gisele Ishimwe, Merveille Uwase, Belise Murekatete, Clarrise Umutoniwase, Margueritte Vumiliya, Geovanis Uwase, Josiane Nyirakundineza, Sifa Ngabire, Henritte Therese Ishimwe, Rosine Irera, Immaculee Muhawenimana
Uganda: Concy Aweko (Captain), Janet Mbabazi, Evelyn Anyipo, Irene Alumo, Patricia Malemikia, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Stephanie Nampiina, Gloria Obukor, Kevin Awino, Phiona Egaru Khulume, Sarah Akiteng, Rita Musamali.
Tanzania: Fatuma Omary Kibasu (Captain), Hudaa Mrisho, Neema Justine, MwanaidiAmmy Swedy, Monica Pascal Iddi, Saum Mtae, Sophia Frank Jerome, Shufaa Mohamedi, Zakayo, Kamunya, Agnes Joseph Qwele, Josephine Shirima, Mwapwani Mohamedi, Sonia Chachala, Josephine Shirima
Kenya: Sharon Juma (Captain), Daisy Njoroge, Venasa Ooko, Esther Wachira, Lavendah Idambo, Flavia Odhiambo, Ann Wanjira, Faith Mwende, Monica Ndhambi, Lynz Nabwire, Charity Muthoni, Kelvia Ogola, Mercy Ahono, Marion Juma.