KENYA women's cricket team captain Emily Ruto has been ruled out of Kenya's Twenty20 series with Uganda beginning tomorrow in Nairobi by an ankle injury.
Coach Dun Okinyo confirmed Ruto would miss out after the player injured her left ankle during training at Ruaraka Sports Club yesterday. "Chepcricket will not be available for the six match series which begins tomorrow's (Friday)" said Okinyo.
"As much as we would like her to play, I wouldn't like to risk her at this moment." Kenya are already contemplating a gamble on the squad with the absence of opening bowler Belinda Maska. Ruto's injury is a big blow.
Okinyo did not confirm who would replace Ruto but Africa junior girls championship player of the series Quinter Aooko is the favourite to get the nod.
"She has been asked by the physio to sit out for at least a week without playing any cricket and we will have to respect that. However her absence will give a chance to younger players to prove themselves," Okinyo added.
As the national team will be using the series to prepare for the T20 women's World Cup qualifiers in Tanzania next month, the junior players who could get a chance to play in the series will be using that opportunity to feature in this year's Africa junior girls championships in Kampala next month.
Beryl Oyugi and Lydia Kaparo would be alternatives to Aooko. One bowler Kenya will have available is Mary Belle who is making a comeback after a 15-month absence. Speaking at Ruaraka, Belle said she is happy to be back and is looking forward to a good performance over the weekend.
"I am now totally focused on the series. I am sure I will be in good shape come the qualifiers," Belle said. "I am now concentrating on getting into the team. The matches will be tough but I genuinely believe we can win. We must play better cricket for three days. We need to play a brand of smart, aggressive cricket." Belle is likely to open the bowling with Mercy Adhiambo in the absence of Maska.