Uganda Cricket Association celebrated two decades of ladies’ cricket in Uganda with a special game between the legends (those that started the game) and the Millenials (current Victoria Pearls).
The ladies’ game started in Uganda in 2001 when the first ladies’ side got to Tour Dar es Salaam and since then the game has grown by leaps and bounds. That tour opened the door for the ladies’ game to start competing on the international level to showcase the talent of Ugandans.
In the two decades of the women’s game, the ladies’ side has transitioned from being called the Lady Cricket Cranes to the Victoria Pearls as they seek to leave their own mark on the international scene.
The Victoria Pearls moment in the sun was in 2017 when they managed to defeat Zimbabwe in the African championship and qualify for the Global Qualifiers in the Netherlands in 2018. That moment was the first time a Ugandan side had qualified to play for a tournament outside of Africa.
Over the years, many great players have played for the Victoria Pearls from the likes of Christine Aryemo, Stella Atim, Marble Kunihira, Flavia Laker, Rita Nyagendo, Scovia Akello, Franklin Najjumba, Carol Namugenyi, Barbara Mukankusi, and Gertrude Chandiru.
The shortcomings of the ladies’ game are the lack of structure for them to totally commit to the game as most of the girls are lost by the sport because they have to make a life outside of the game.
The two-decade celebration was also an opportunity for the ladies to reach out to vulnerable teenage mothers in the community under the theme “Using Sports to stop Teenage Pregnancy and Community Stigmatization”.
The teenage mothers are looked after by Reborn Minds, a charity organization, were given life skills lessons such as briquette making and soap making by Sprouting Youth and Women Initiative and also received sanitary pads from Shuya Pads.
The day was concluded with a cricket game between the legends and Millenials with the latter getting one over their seniors by 4 wickets.
The legends team had the likes of Stella Atim, Felicia Tukei, Barbara Mukankusi, Rita Nyagendo, Carol Namugenyi, Franklin Najjumba, Gertrude Chandiru, and Naomi Kayondo playing for them in a contest that was very exciting.