Cricket’s debut in African Games: Uganda’s Victoria Pearls eyeing glory in Ghana

Cricket’s debut in African Games: Uganda’s Victoria Pearls eyeing glory in Ghana

The Victoria Pearls, Uganda’s women’s national cricket team, are set to compete in Accra, Ghana, aiming for gold at the inaugural inclusion of cricket in the African Games from March 7th to 13th.

Placed in Group B with Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Kenya, the top two teams will advance to the semifinals, leading to a final for gold and a 3rd/4th place match for the bronze medal.

With T20i status, the tournament offers ranking points, and Uganda, currently 18th globally, aims to earn points against higher-ranked teams like South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.

After a 12-day training stint in India, including five T20 games against select opponents from India and Zimbabwe, the team secured victories in three out of five matches, including a win against Zimbabwe.

Consy Aweko captains the team, supported by deputy Janet Mbabazi, with promising players Immaculate Nandera, Lorna Anyait, and Malisa Ariokot making the African Games squad.

Coached by Lawrence Ssematimba and assistant coach Deus Muhumuza, the 15-player squad departed on Monday, starting their quest for gold against familiar rival Kenya, followed by matches against Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

Expressing confidence in the team’s preparation, Deus Muhumuza, the Assistant Coach, stated, “I am proud to witness the commitment and preparation the team has put into gearing up for the African Games in Ghana. We are ready to face the challenge head-on, fueled by our collective determination and passion for the game. Together, we’ll strive to showcase our best performances, embodying the spirit of teamwork and resilience.”

The squad includes Consy Aweko (Captain), Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Rita Musamali, Stephanie Nampiina, Evelyn Anyipo, Sarah Akiteng, Marisa Ariokot, Lorna Anyait, Phiona Khulume, Gloria Obukor, Sarah Walaza, Esther Iloku, and Immaculate Nandera.

The officials accompanying the team are Lawrence Ssematimba (Head Coach), Deusdedit Muhumuza (Assistant Coach), Imam Tugume (Physiotherapist), Richard Okia (Team Analyst), and Mary Nankinga (Team Manager).

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