Rwanda: Suji Positive Despite Rwanda's Frustrating WC Qualifiers

25 October 2021

Rwanda may have had a frustrating campaign during the just-concluded International Cricket Council men's T20 sub regional Group A World Cup Qualifiers but national Cricket team head coach Martin Suji remains positive

The hosts missed out on a chance of representing Africa in next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup after they finished fourth in Group A of the Africa qualifiers.

Three wins from six games weren't enough for Rwanda to progress to the final round of the World Cup Africa qualifiers as they lag behind Malawi, Ghana and Group A leaders Uganda who ended the qualifiers in Kigali unbeaten to book the lone ticket to the final round of the African qualifiers.

Despite not progressing to the final rounds of the qualifiers, Suji said that his team have been improving their level of performance during the qualifiers and vows to make some adjustments to the team's mentality which, he said, remains their biggest challenge that cost them the majority of the games they lost.

"I think it was very good for the players to play international matches and so was it for me to see how good they are. Yes, there were shortcomings, especially in the first game, but as they keep playing, I am sure they will improve. I am looking forward to making them a better team," Suji said.

"The boys panicked a little bit and it cost them at the end because they lost the game [against Malawi] on the last ball. We have to fix the panic button so they can be victorious next time. But I am proud of them," he added.

Rwanda started the ICC Men's T20 Sub Regional Group A World Cup Qualifiers on a low note, losing their two opening matches against Ghana and Uganda respectively but managed to bounce back in style to win three games in a row against Seychelles, Eswatini and Lesotho.

The team were hoping to end the campaign on a high note but failed to make the best of their home advantage when they faced Malawi in the last game of the campaign on Friday, October 22, at Gahanga Cricket Stadium.

It was the Malawians who instead emerged victorious over the hosts, winning the game by 24 runs, a defeat that skipper Clinton Rubagumya found hard to take given that the game was in their hands.

"We lost the game that we should have won but we lost it because our fielding was not on point," Rubagumya said, adding, "Sometimes you don't get what you expect and that's the nature of sports. All we can do now is to regroup and come back stronger."

Prizes

Best bowler: Dinesh Nakrani

Best batsman: Orchide Tuyisenge

Player of the tournament: Dinesh Nakrani

Winner: Uganda

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