Selection headache for hastily-arranged women's cricket tour of Rwanda

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
May 27, 2021
  • The national team selectors are contemplating including some under-19 players in the team for an invitational tournament in Rwanda. (SNA File Photo)

A hastily arranged tour of Rwanda for the national women's cricket team is reportedly proving to be a headache for the Cricket Kenya national selectors, who have been asked to choose the squad for the four days tour.

The selectors are in dilemma on what criteria they will use to select 14 players which face Uganda and Rwanda in the tournament dubbed the 'Kwibuka Cricket for Peace women's Twenty20 tournament' set for June 12-14 at the Kicukiro Cricket ground.

Normally squads are selected according their performance but with the team having not played any match since taking part in the Africa Region World Twenty20 qualifiers in South Africa in December, selectors are in a dilemma.

Since the beginning of the year, less than half of the squad that toured South Africa have been training four days a week. The rest are either taking a break from the game or are busy with school or work.

But, even those who are training have not had any matches to gauge their performance which is the main criteria the selectors use to pick up players.

'We know that a squad is selected on performance. But with this team, I am anxiously waiting to see how it will be selected because the players have not had any match since the beginning of the year. Or unless they will select on the performance in South Africa in December," said a source who is familiar with the team.

Of the 14 players who traveled to South Africa, only six have been training under coach Lameck Onyango. The rest are not ready for national team assignments.

"The selection is turning out to be interesting. How will they select a squad of 14 players from a squad of 10 if they are to go with ones that attend training. Even if they are to add four into that squad and make a traveling party, there are girls in that team that cannot put on national team colors unless they are being rewarded for training," the source argued.

Additional selection challenge

It appears the selectors could be contemplating picking players from the under-19 national squad to fill up the remaining four slots. But even this has additional challenges because a good number of these players who were in the team that finished second in the Africa Junior Girls' championships in Tanzania in December last year are either in school and have not been training.

"If the selectors will opt to go with the ones that are training then it means none of the U19 players will make it in the squad because they are all in schools and have not been training. And even if they decide that they are to go with the form of the players then we will be waiting to see what performances will be used," the source told sportsnewsarena.com .

To add more drama in the confusion, Cricket Kenya General Manager has summoned the players to training on Thursday and said the squad will be selected on fitness test. This will no doubt leave the players in schools and mostly those in Nakuru handicapped because they will not make it on time.

"Surely how can you select cricket squad on fitness. Cricket is all about combination-batting, bowling and fielding. Now what happens if the opening bowlers and batters fail the test, does it mean they will not be in the team at the expense of a 'poor' player who has done well in fitness test?," the source posed.

While Kenya selectors are sweating on sending their strong side for the event, Uganda who have been a thorn in flesh for Kenya for years have selected a School XI to represent them in the event.

Unlike Kenya who have not had anything for their ladies cricketers, Uganda are currently playing their Women league, a month after finishing the Girls Cricket Week and the Women Sixes tournament.

Currently training players: Sarah Bhakita, Mercy Adhiambo, Margaret Banja, Mary Bella, Slyvia Kinyua, Doline Adhiambo, Mary Wambui, Beryl Oyugi, Brenda Mogusu, Barbra Ambiyo.