The national Under-19 cricket team head coach Joshua Mwanja has said that his side will put up a strong fight during the Africa Division 2 World Cup Qualifies that get underway today in South Africa.
Rwanda start the campaign for a ticket to the second round of qualifiers against Swaziland this afternoon at Senwes Cricket Stadium in Potchefstroom, North West Province.
While speaking to Sunday Sport before departure on Thursday, coach Mwanja, who was buoyant about his side despite 90% of his players being inexperience said that the team is ready, morale is high and they are focused – and the target is to qualify.
“Most of the boys don’t feature in the league but rather in school tournaments. However, they are confident, determined and ready for the challenge. We won’t be intimidated,” he pointed out.
Mwanja who is convinced that his side can topple any side in the tournament, also admitted that he does not have much information about most opponents before singling out Botswana and Sierra Leone as the sides to watch out for.
Team captain Didier Ndikubwimana will be the team’s opening batsman.
The skipper along with Parfait Mugisha and Jean Pierre Rukundo are the only three players on the team that played the 2016 qualifiers, which were also staged in South Africa.
“We started preparing in March, our target is to qualify, and the team is committed and fired up to deliver. We know it will be tough and very competitive, but we are ready to face anyone with vigor and determination,” team captain Ndikubwimana said.
As part their preparation, the boys had a Tour in Uganda for training and friendly matches.
In South Africa, Rwanda is placed in the same group with Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia, Zambia, Sierra Leone, and neighbors Tanzania.
Under former coach Davis Turinawe during the 2016 edition, Rwanda finished at the bottom after failing to win even one match.