- Cricket. The league-cum-knockout tournament is for eight teams that won their respective qualifiers from ICC Regions. The reward for the top two is that they will join the top eight sides - Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies - in the World Cup scheduled for this November.
KAMPALA. When there seemed no hope at all in cricket, the senior national women’s team lifted the spirits by winning the Africa Twenty20 title in Zimbabwe last year.
It coincidentally put an end to a wait for the nation to feature at the ladies’ global front since the inception of women’s cricket here 18 years ago. Today, the Lady Cricket Cranes will bowl off their quest for the top two slots at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier against one of the favourites Scotland in Amstelveen.
The team led by skipper Kevin Awino will sing the national anthem with all pride at the VRA Cricket Ground.
But when umpires Australian Claire Polosak and Roland Black from Ireland roll off the action, one thing will be on coach Francis Otieno’s mind.
“We need to get a good start if we are to stand a chance,” the Kenyan tactician said. “Scotland are the top seeds in our pool and we hope to pull off a surprise.”
Indeed, Uganda has never been here yet the tournament debutants want a fine taste of the Scottish wine. “We are going to fight for our country,” revealed Awino.
Bold Awino has harboured the lucky charm, mending cracks and bridging the gaps within camp before lifting the trophy in Zimbabwe last September. Then the team warmed up for Netherlands with a 6-0 whitewash of hosts Tanzania in January and later won the Zimbabwe Women’s Twenty20 Challenge in May.
Otieno and assistant Grace Mutyagaba must blend the experience of Franklyn Najjumba, Consy Aweko and Carol Namugenyi with the youth exuberance of Africa T20 MVP Gertrude Candiru, Saidat Kemigisha, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Rachael Ntono and Joyce Mary Apio.
However, it remains a tall order against the Scots who came fourth in the 2015 Qualifier in Thailand, consequently missing out on the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup in India.
The Wildcats are inspired by their male counterparts who came close to qualifying for 2019 ODI World Cup in Zimbabwe earlier this year.
“Having seen the men’s team come so close in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the excitement it generated around the country, we’ll be looking to replicate their performances to keep Scottish cricket firmly on the map,” Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce said in an interview with ICC.
Kathryn has had a 173* in an unbroken partnership of 336 with her sister Sarah at the U-17 level. The pairing, former captain Abbi Aikten, Lorna Jack and Rachel Scholes form the core of their side.
UGANDA SCHEDULE - ICC WOMEN’S WORLD T20 QUALIFIER IN HOLLAND
Saturday, July 7 - 2PM
Scotland vs. Uganda VRA, Amstelveen
Sunday, July 8 - 2PM
Uganda vs. Thailand, Kampong, Utretcht
Tuesday, July 10 - 2PM
Ireland vs. Uganda VRA, Amstelveen
Thursday, July 12
Semifinals (10AM & 2PM)
Saturday, July 14: Final (2PM)