By Denis Musali
The ICC this year agreed to introduce an U19 girl's World Cup as a way of growing the ladies' game. After the 2017 Women's World Cup in England which got a lot of coverage and further improved the agenda for the ladies' game, there has been a genuine effort from the ICC to make sure that the ladies' game grows at the same pace as that of the men.
It is against this background that Uganda will be hosting the 1st African U19 tournament. The invitational tournament will have five nations taking with Rwanda, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zimbabwe all confirming their participation. The importance of such a tournament is the exposure it gives the youngsters early in their careers as they develop their skills to be competitive at the international level.
Uganda Cricket Association Women's Development Officer Franklin Najjumba has this to see about the tournament
"As an association, we are proud to host a tournament of this size. The exposure we are giving the young girls at this early stage should help us in the future especially with our lady cricket cranes. These opportunities were not available five years ago and I would like to appreciate board that has supported the growth of the ladies game in not just Uganda but Africa as a whole. We have had success in the past when we have hosted events and we know we have the capacity to host a memorable tournament"
The tournament will run from Dec 16th to 22nd and will be played on a T20 format, the game will be played at Entebbe, Kyambogo, and Lugogo cricket ovals.
The hosts Uganda have named a training squad of 25 that will join the residential camp on Friday before the final squad is named next week. The girls will be under the guidance of head coach Ivan Kakande from the Soroti Cricket Academy and Assistant Coach Yusuf Nanga from Aziz Damani/Masaka SSS.