Another crack at ICC World Cup qualifiers

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Sep 07, 2017
  • Kenya coach Lameck Onyango instructs players ahead of the qualifiers. (Photo Courtesy)

The ICC World Cup qualifiers has always been a tough challenge for the Kenya women's team.

In previous editions, Kenya have not qualified. They have always been knocked out at the Africa regional stage.

Another Africa qualifier for the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 bowls off on Friday, September 8 in Namibia and Kenya hopes to break the jinx.

Since Kenya first played in the ICC qualifier in Nairobi in 2006, they have played a second fiddle to Zimbabwe.

In 2006, Zimbabwe qualified for the 2008 ICC Women World Cup with Kenya finishing fourth.

Four years later, Kenya finished third in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers as Zimbabwe and South Africa booked the tickets.

Two years later, Kenya had a chance to bounce back but finishing fifth behind South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Tanzania in Dar es Salaam in the inaugural ICC Women’s World T20, Africa Qualifier.

The script was the same last year in Zimbabwe as the home team bagged the ticket.

In Namibia, Kenya begin against rivals and former East Africa powerhouse in women cricket Tanzania at Wanderers Cricket Club.

East Africa Derby

That match will be followed by another East Africa derby where they will take on Uganda on Sunday.

They will have a rest on Monday before taking on favourites Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

In their last pool game, Margaret Banja-led side will meet the hosts at Wanderers Affies Park on Tuesday.

It’s a tough draw and unless Kenya punch above their weight, the team’s chances of progressing to the global qualifiers appear unlikely.

Banja is upbeat. “The team’s spirits are certainly high after having beaten Uganda at home last month and from our performance in South Africa where we played some strong opponents,” Banja said.

She believes that it will be important for her side to capitalise on the momentum of  beating Uganda and winning the Kwibuka tournament in Rwanda as well as the inaugural International Women’s T20 Cup in Sharjah last year.

“We have a good season and we will be getting to the qualifiers with a team that is in good shape in terms of value. But it is what each player in the team will do that will be crucial,” Banja commented as the team landed in Windhoek from South Africa.

Fixtures

Friday, September 8: Tanzania v Kenya

Sunday, September 10: Uganda v Kenya

Tuesday, September 12: Kenya v Zimbabwe

Wednesday, September 13: Kenya v Namibia

Friday, September 15: Fourth v fifth place, 13h45: Second v third place

Saturday, September 16: Final.