By Ijeoma Okigbo
Players from participating countries at the just-concluded KwibukaT20 women’s cricket tournament in Kigali on Sunday scored the tournament high, while also expressing optimism about the next edition.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the players commended the organisers of the event, adding however that they did not expect less.
A total of eight countries participated in the tournament’s eighth edition which ended on Saturday in the Rwandan capital city.
Germany and Brazil were making a debut, while it was also the first time the event was hosting countries from outside the continent.
Robertamoretti Avery, captain of the Brazil team, said the standard of the competition was high.
“The tournament has been great. We are very excited to come to a new continent, with a different culture and find out what’s happening in Africa in terms of women’s cricket.
“We were amazed. The level of cricket in the continent is very high. The fitness of the players, and their strength is something that inspire us. It’s been amazing.
“We are impressed with the organisation of the tournament. The pitch is very good, the ground is good too. The standard is high. We will love to come back,” Avery added.
Blessing Etim, Nigeria’s captain, said the experience was worth it.
“This is the first time we are playing more than four or five matches in a tournament. Even at the International Cricket Council (ICC) regional qualifiers, we don’t play this much.
“The standard is high and it’s great to also play against teams from outside Africa. Hopefully, we will have more teams play in the next edition next year,” Etim said.
On her part, Queentor Abel, captain of Kenya, said it was great to see how teams have improved their game.
“The tournament has been good, and so many teams have really developed. It wasn’t an easy tournament for any team but I will say that the Kenyan team really gave it their best.
“The tournament has really grown. We made our debut when it was only about three teams, but it’s eight teams now.
“It’s really a good development for the Rwanda Cricket Association and seeing how they have kept the standards,” Abel added.
On her part, Christina Gough, captain of Germany, said: “The tournament has been incredible, in spite of our not performing as well as we would like to on the pitch. But everything off the pitch have been incredible.
“The hospitality, the spirit among the other teams have been great. It’s great to be here,” Gough said.
Aside the aforementioned, Botswana, Uganda, Tanzania and hosts Rwanda participated in the event , with Tanzania emerging winners of the tournament.
The event which was held from June 9 to Saturday was in memory of those who lost their lives in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)