The national cricket team has been tipped to shine in the forthcoming ICC T20 Division 2 tournament that will run from April 15-20 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The team is due to depart for the week-long tournament on Thursday.
“Go to South Africa with a heart of winning and make Rwanda proud,” Charles Haba, the president of the Rwanda Cricket Association, told the team on Sunday in Kigali.
In his brief to the team, Haba advised the players that a person aiming to achieve must always be focused. He added that this can only be achieved if that person is disciplined.
“Whoever fails to do so, he or she will automatically fail,” Haba told the players.
Arthur Asiimwe, the Director General of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, echoed the same message urging the team to raise the country’s flag high.
“The name Rwanda is written in front of the jersey and your names are written behind, that means you need to put your country first before any other thing,” Assimwe noted.
The team head coach Davis Turinawe said the players are ready for the tournament, both physically and mentally.
“We have worked on our batting, bowling as well as other aspects of the game, and hopefully, we will do well,” he said.
To motivate the players, Haba staked Rwf50, 000 for every player who scores over 25 runs in a single game, Rwf5, 000 for taking three wickets and Rwf500 for every catch.
The RCA vice president, Srinath Vardhineni, promised Rwf50,000 for the player who will make the highest number of runs in the whole tournament, and Rwf50,000 for the player with the most wickets.
Rwanda is in the same group as Mozambique and Sierra Leone. In 2011, Rwanda won the ICC Division 3 tournament which was held in Accra, Ghana.
However, on their debut in Division Two, Rwanda managed one win against Gambia and lost to both Swaziland and Sierra Leone, hence being demoted.
But it was later discovered that Swaziland had used non-nationals, and was banned from taking part in the tournament. As a result, Rwanda was reinstated in Division 2 as the second team behind Sierra Leone.
Rwanda’s full squad:
Eric Dusingizimana, Eric Hirwa, Don Dieu Mugisha, Derick Bayingana, Sruthin Gopi, Fiston Nsengiyunva, Eric Niyomugabo, Clinton Rubagumya, Orchide Tuyisenge, Yvan Mitali, Bob Bashir Songa, Fredy Ndayisenga, Zappy Maurice Bimenyimana and Evode Mutuyimana.