All Africa GamesCricket

Victoria Pearls head to Accra in pursuit of Gold at the African Games


The Victoria Pearls left Uganda and headed to Accra, Ghana, in pursuit of gold in the African Games.

This momentous occasion marks the debut of women’s cricket at this esteemed event, slated to take place from March 7th to 13th.

The formerly All-Africa Games, now the African games are a quadrennial continental multi-sport extravaganza, highlighting the prowess of athletes from various corners of the African continent.

More than just a sporting event, it serves as a platform for fostering unity, promoting sportsmanship, and celebrating the vibrant diversity of African culture.

Eight teams, divided into two groups, will compete for the coveted gold medal.

Uganda finds itself in Group B alongside formidable opponents like Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Kenya.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, setting the stage for an intense battle for the championship title.

Full Women’s Cricket Fixtures for the African Games

With T20i status granted to the tournament, ranking points are up for grabs, providing an opportunity for Uganda, currently ranked 18th in the world, to make significant strides against higher-ranked teams such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.

Preparation has been rigorous, with the Victoria Pearls completing a 12-day training camp in India.

The team honed their skills through five T20 matches against select Indian and Zimbabwean sides, securing victories in three of these encounters, including a notable win against Zimbabwe.

Nine players from the Soroti Cricket Academy have maintained their place on the Victoria Pearls, the Uganda Senior Women’s Cricket team, making history as women’s cricket debuts at the All Africa Games in Ghana.

This milestone holds particular significance for the academy.

The Soroti Cricket Academy has played a pivotal role as the nurturing ground for the Victoria Pearls since 2015.

Apio Joyce Mary and Anyipo Evelyn emerged as trailblazers, marking their entry into the team.

They were the first players to join the academy in its inaugural year in 2014.

Remarkably, Evelyn remains an integral part of the team, showcasing the academy’s commitment to developing and fostering talent over the years.

Evelyn Anyipo while at the airport before setting off for the African Games

Led by Captain Consy Aweko and Vice-Captain Janet Mbabazi, and under the guidance of experienced coaches Lawrence Ssematimba and Deus Muhumuza, the squad is prepared to confront their opponents with determination.

Among them, rising talents like Immaculate Nandera, Lorna Anyait, and Malisa Ariokot part of the Soroti Cricket Academy team have maintained their positions on the team.

L-R (The rising talents)
Ariokot Malisa, Nandera Immaculate, Lorna Anyait

The journey begins with a clash against arch-rivals Kenya, followed by encounters against Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

The team is determined to showcase their best performances, fueled by passion and camaraderie.

In the words of Assistant Coach Deus Muhumuza, “I am proud to witness the commitment and preparation the team has put into gearing up for the African Games in Ghana.

We are ready to face the challenge head-on, fueled by our collective determination and passion for the game.”

As the Victoria Pearls set their sights on the ultimate prize, they carry with them the hopes and dreams of a nation, symbolizing the spirit of resilience and excellence in Ugandan cricket.


The Squad:
Consy Aweko (Captain), Janet Mbabazi, Kevin Awino, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Rita Musamali, Stephanie Nampiina, Evelyn Anyipo, Sarah Akiteng, Marisa Ariokot, Lorna Anyait, Phiona Khulume, Gloria Obukor, Sarah Walaza, Esther Iloku, Immaculate Nandera

Lawrence Ssematimba (Head Coach), Deusdedit Muhumuza (Assistant Coach), Imam Tugume (Physiotherapist), Richard Okia (Team Analyst), Mary Nankinga (Team Manager).

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