Captains Promise Fearless Cricket As ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier Begins In Entebbe

Captains raring to go to Entebbe. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

Captains promise thrilling cricket with two spots to Global Qualifier up for grabs

Zimbabwe and Namibia enter the tournament as the top two ranked teams

With rain predicted for the week DLS will come into play at some stage during the event

ENTEBBE, Uganda- It’s all systems go at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Entebbe, Uganda.

All teams safely touched down from Thursday to Friday morning. Southern Africans Namibia and Botswana were the first of the eight teams to jet into the Pearl of Africa.

They were followed by pre-event favourites and top seeds Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania in that order with the much-anticipated continental showpiece ready for tip off at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Oval.

Nigeria was the last team to arrive for the eight-nation event who’s top two finishers will progress to the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Good vibes all-around

Team Namibia ready for the world cup. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

All eight teams were in good spirits and full of energy at the opening ceremony at the oval during which a local dance troupe entertained while showcasing the country’s rich culture in a unique way.

The players proceeded to look vibrant during the respective captains’ runs whilst the respective eight captains partook in a breathtaking photoshoot at Lubowa Karting – home of the most thrilling go-kart track in Uganda.

With pleasantries out of the way, the captains passionately spoke about their preparations and plans on how they intend to tackle the games in this particular campaign with an eye on one of two tickets to Dubai 2024.

“We are really excited to be here and our plan is going to be simple – take it one game at a time,” said Zimbabwe skipper Mary-Ann Musonda.

Ranked 12th globally, the Lady Chevrons are top favorites to emerge unscathed but first they must do the business in Group A that also has Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana.

“We are not disrespecting any team. We are not complacent in any way. Yes, we are highly ranked, but we also respect our opposition. We want to go through our processes and make sure that we have some fun in every game.”

Priceless game time

Team Botswana ready for the world cup. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

Zimbabwe’s preparations started three months ago with the domestic games before heading to India for a 17-day training camp at the I Can We Can (ICWC) Omtex Institute in Saphale to fine tune their skills and get some priceless game time against selected Indian state squads. The cusp of coach Gary Brent’s squad’s preparations was a home series against South Africa Emerging Women which despite losing 3-2, they were without doubt the biggest beneficiaries.

Namibia captain Irene van Zyl is delighted to be back in Uganda for the second time after a long while and hopes to emerge victorious.

“Last time we were in Kampala and this time we will be playing from a different field which excites us,” said the Capricorn Eagles leader van Zyl.

“Preparation wise, we have done what we could do after our Tour to United Arab Emirates (UAE). We have worked on our individual skills and played a few inter-squad games.

Van Zyl also hinted on how her team needs no motivation for such an event with the inner inspiration coming from their senior men’s team – Richelieu Eagles – that qualified for the T20 World Cup.

“The World Cup qualification excitement lives on in Namibia at the moment. And it just gives us that little bit of more inspiration”

Home support

Team Rwanda ready for the world cup. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

Uganda captain Consylate Aweko is counting on her team executing the coaches’ game plans and home support.

 “We have prepared well and have gone through the processes. We’ve also worked a lot on our fitness. Playing at home will bring some pressure moments but if we stick to the game plans, we shall manoeuvre through and make it to the final,” said Aweko.

The Victoria Pearls, just like the Capricorn Eagles, followed proceedings as their men’s side qualified for the World Cup and Aweko says that achievement has them believing, too.

“First of all, we’re excited as Uganda to see that we qualified for the first time in history. Our men have shown us the way. It’s achievable. It’s not rocket science. They went through the process and executed.

“So, it’s an inspiration to us to see that the same process they went through that took them to the World Cup, is the same process we’ve been going through,” explained Aweko, who is Uganda’s leading wicket taker in T20Is with 86 scalps.

Blessing Etim, Nigeria’s captain, promises that the Female Yellow Greens will excite and thrill in equal measure.

“We are going to try our best and play fearless cricket. It is the only way for us if we’re to achieve our dream of qualifying for the Global event and World Cup thereafter. We have had 14 trial matches in the build-up to this event and some have been against male opposition,” said Etim, who boasts of 553 runs and 25 wickets in her T20I career.

Ready to compete

Team Nigeria ready for the world cup. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

About her country’s rivalry with Rwanda and what they have in store for the other opponents, Etim kept her cards close to her chest.

“I wouldn’t say they (Rwanda) are going to be a challenge to us this time. But we are going to put our best foot forward and see what the results come after every match. We have not come to play names here. We want to play cricket and tackle each match the way it comes,” she concluded.

Rwanda captain Diane Marie Bimenyimana and her contingent are not only familiar with Uganda but some of her players also do know a thing or two about Entebbe Oval as they’ve featured for some local clubs in the domestic competitions before.

“Every team has come here with an aim to qualify. The goal is simple; to be in the final and secure one of the berths to Dubai. Our coaches have taken us through various game plans and we have also managed to play some games with the boys,” said Bimenyimana.

The affable Rwanda captain downplayed the presence of the fast-rising Ishimwe namesakes; Gisele & Henriette in her squad and their pivotal role in the epic triumph over Uganda – their first-ever – during the annual Kwibuka Women’s T20 Tournament last June.

“They (Ishimwes) have made their names but in our squad, they remain as equal as every other team member. We play as a unit and win as one. That win over Uganda is long gone. That was Kwibuka and this is an ICC event – two different tournaments. I know Uganda have worked on the mistakes that happened on that day and we have also been working to improve.”

Botswana captain Laura Mophakedi says being the lowest ranked side in this tourney has not demotivated them but rather it gives them a chance to play with a fearless mindset.

“We are not demoralized, instead we’re motivated. Knowing our ranking has helped us work harder in preparation. We will be able to express ourselves because we have nothing to lose. We are going to be open minded and give every rival a good challenge. We are up for the challenge and no one will just walk over us,” said Mophakedi.

Basics will be key

Team Rwanda ready for the world cup. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

Kenya come into this event with some pep in their step after winning the Africa Division II Qualifier with some style earlier this year in Gaborone and their captain Esther Wachira is aiming at keeping the winning momentum intact.

“We had been out of the ICC qualifiers for some time but we backed ourselves up in Botswana and came top. Now we want to continue doing the basics right. We believe that basics will take us places. Some of us are even going to be playing against Zimbabwe for the first time and we’re excited,” said the batting all-rounder.

Tanzania’s new captain Neema Justine Pius is happy to be at the helm of a side that is hungry to attain a goal no other captain and generation from her nation has achieved – qualifying for the Global event.

“Every team in our group is tough but we have prepared, including the series in Hong Kong and we will not allow anyone to deny us from reaching our goals. We are going to play positive cricket and we want to win the tournament,” said Pius, who has just taken over the captaincy mantle from Fatuma Omary Kibasu.

Rain factor

Team Uganda ready for the world cup. PHOTO/INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL

With rain predicted for the mornings in Entebbe, Duckworth, Lewis & Stern (DLS) will come into play at some stage during the tournament.

“As a host nation, we are proud to be hosting the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers. The weather has not been very kind to us during the preparations but our grounds team has done a fantastic job in ensuring that the ground is fit for play and that we have a great tournament. We wish all the eight nations a fabulous time in Uganda,” remarked Alan Mugume – the chairman Local Organizing Committee (LOC), who is also the CEO of Uganda Cricket Association (UCA)

On Matchday One today, Zimbabwe and Kenya lock horns in a crunch opener with Tanzania and Botswana facing off in the afternoon.

All games will be streamed live on ICC.TV


A: Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana

B: Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria



Laura Mophakedi (c, wk), Onneile Keitsemang, Oratile Kgeresi, Bontle Madimabe

(wk), Pako Mapotsane, Goabilwe Matome, Tebogo Moitoi, Amantle Mokgotlhe,

Shameelah Mosweu, Tebogo Motlhabaphuti, Wendy Moutswi, Merapelo Phiase,

Florence Samanyika, Tuelo Shadrack


Esther Wachira (c), Queentor Abel, Josephine Abwom, Mercy Ahono, Lavendah

Idambo, Melvin Khagoitsa, Kreeshna Mehta, Charity Muthoni (wk), Mary Mwangi

(wk), Jemimah Ndanu, Flavia Odhiambo, Kelvia Ogola, Judith Ogolla, Venasa



Irene van Zyl (c), Naomi Benjamin, Jurriene Diergaardt, Merczerly Gorases,

Kayleen Green, Victoria Hamunyela, Yasmeen Khan (wk), Bianca Manuel,

Mekeleya Mwatile, Sylvia Shihepo, Saima Tuhadeleni, Sune Wittmann, Edelle Van



Blessing Etim (c), Rukayat Abdulrasak, Adeshola Adekunle, Peculiar Agboya,

Christabel Chukwuonye, Favour Eseigbe, Sarah Etim (wk), Victory Igbinedion,

Abigail Igbobie (wk), Lucky Piety, Rachael Samson, Esther Sandy, Salome

Sunday, Lillian Udeh


Diane Marie Bimenyimana (c)Alice Ikuzwe, Flora Irakoze, Rosine Irera, Gisele

Ishimwe, Henriette Ishimwe, Immaculee Muhawenimana, Belise Murekatete,

Zulufat Mutoniwase, Shakila Niyomuhoza, Josiane Nyirankundineza, Marie

Tumukunde, Clarisse Uwase, Merveille Uwase (wk)


Neema Pius (C), Fatuma Kibasu, Saum Borakambi, Sophia Jerome, Perice Kamunya,

Sheila Kizito, Aisha Mohamed, Shufaa Mohamedi (wk), Saum Mtae, Hudaa Omary,

Agnes Qwele, Monica Pascal, Mwajabu Salum, Mwanamvua Ushangaeko


Concy Aweko (c), Janet Mbabazi (vc), Sarah Akiteng, Prosscovia Alako, Irene Alumo,

Lorna Anyait, Evelyn Anyipo, Malisa Ariokot, Kevin Awino (wk), Esther Iloku, Patricia

Malemikia, Rita Musamali, Immaculate Nakisuuyi, Stephanie Nampiina


Mary-Anne Musonda (c), Modester Mupachikwa (wk), Chiyedza Dhururu, Josephine

Nkomo, Precious Marange, Ashley Ndiraya, Nomvelo Sibanda, Kelis Ndhlovu,

Lindokuhle Mabhera, Audrey Mazvishaya, Nyasha Gwanzura, Francisca Chipare, Chipo

Tiripano, Loreen Tshuma


Saturday 9th December

09:30: Zimbabwe vs Kenya

13:50: Tanzania vs Botswana

Sunday 10th December

09:30: Namibia vs Nigeria

13:50: Rwanda vs Uganda

Monday 11th December

09:30: Kenya vs Tanzania

13:50: Botswana vs Zimbabwe

Tuesday 12th December

09:30: Nigeria vs Rwanda

13:50: Uganda vs Namibia

Wednesday 13th December

09:30: Kenya vs Botswana

13:50: Zimbabwe vs Tanzania

Thursday 14th December

09:30: Namibia vs Rwanda

13:50: Uganda vs Nigeria

Saturday 16th December

09:30: Semifinal 1 – A1 vs B2

13:50: Semifinal 2 – B1 vs A2

Sunday 17th December – Finals

09:30: 3rd/4th Playoff Final – Loser Semifinal 1 vs Loser Semifinal 2

13:50: Final – Winner Semifinal 1 vs Winner Semifinal 2

*All games will be played at the lakeside Entebbe Cricket Oval.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *