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Some good news for the spread of cricket to regions where the sport hasn’t gained much popularity comes in the way of the selection of two players from Tanzania and two from Uganda in the Africa team for the Afro-Asia tournament in India this June. What makes this news even more heart-warming is that the four players will represent Africa Women in a Twenty20 game against Asia Women.
Tanzanians Saida Ramadhani and Mwanaiddi Shakim and Ugandans Christine Aryemo and Frankline Najjumba will travel along with their team-mates from Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe to play a Twenty20 match in Bangalore on June 5. The match is expected to bring some deserved attention to the women’s game for it will be played before a men’s Twenty20 on the same day at the same venue.
It is significant to note that there are no representatives from either country in the men’s side. That these women have succeeded in finding a place in an international side of some reckoning is a good sign for cricket in the two countries but the absence of Tanzanian and Ugandan men means there is a lot more work still to be done.
Though Uganda and Tanzania didn’t make it through to the second round of World Cup qualifiers in Pakistan – Zimbabwe and South Africa have qualified from Africa – the trip to India for these players can only help in pushing the game forward back home.
The ICC recognised the efforts of Uganda Cricket Association when they awarded $1000 to Rebecca Alwayo Akwenyu, an international player, as Volunteer of the Year for her contributions and services to disabled cricketers in Uganda. The association also won the Photo of the Year for an image of a disabled man batting on one leg.
Staff writer Nishi studied journalism because she didn't want to study at all. As she spent most of the time at j-school stationed in front of the TV watching cricket her placement officer had no choice but to send out a desperate plea to the editor of ESPNcricinfo to hire her. Though some of the senior staff was suspicious at that a diploma in journalism was the worst thing that could happen to ESPNcricinfo and she did nothing to allay them, she continues to log in everyday and do her two bits for cricket.