CLINTON Rubagumya, the Under-23 national cricket team captain, has appealed to management to organise more friendly matches before engaging into competitions.
Rwanda U23 team hosted their Ugandan counterparts in a six-match friendly series at Gahanga Cricket Stadium, which concluded over the weekend with the visitors winning five matches while the hosts settled for one victory.
Rubagumya argues that the team, and other national teams, need more of such friendlies to up their game, because the series provided a good test to weigh themselves against a regional giant.
“The series gave us a good measure of where we stand, and what needs to be improved. The exposure and experience we earned is very important to players and the team in future competitions,” Rubagumya told Times Sport on Tuesday.
“Even though we only won one game, I think we are in a better position [more confident] to play tougher opponents in our region and beyond.”
Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) Secretary General, Emmanuel Byiringiro, says that the objective of the friendly series was to challenge the young players ahead of the 2018 season.
“The skills of our team have improved especially in the fielding, but there is still a lot of work to do. Uganda are better than us in cricket, that’s why we played them so we can learn, and at the same time try to work on our areas of improvement,” he said.
For RCA, 2018 was a successful year given the fact that for the first time Rwanda made use of the state-of-the-art Gahanga Cricket Oval, which was inaugurated in October last year, hosted regional qualifiers for the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup that is due to be staged in Australia.
The Secretary General further noted that “the number of players and coaches has considerably increased, thanks to the Kicukiro-based new facility.”
The U-23 series marked the end of the 2018 domestic season.
The national women’s team will in January start training for the World Cup qualifiers, which are to be held in May 2019.