Greetings from the frozen wastes of West Norfolk – the freeze here has now got to the stage where Bawsey Drain is partially frozen over, never mind the ponds. In today’s post I look at a great story to emerge from the inaugural Womens U19 T20 World Cup, and make some suggestions for the future.
THE BIGGEST SUCCESS OF THE TOURNAMENT
Obviously in absolute terms this will belong to whoever ends up lifting the trophy, which will not be Rwanda, whose journey will end at the Super Six stage (England, New Zealand and India are all looking strong, and no one familiar with Australia in knock out stages would dare rule them out), but in relative terms, to reach the Super Six stage, and to win one match at that stage (v West Indies) on Rwanda’s resources far outranks any of the achievements of the big guns.
RWANDA’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Rwanda are an excellent bowling side (Henriette Ishimwe, who took four wickets in four balls to seal the win over Zimbabwe had a comparatively quiet match in the Super Six win over West Indies, when the spinners dominated) but struggle with the bat – that great win over West Indies was achieved with only four wickets and two overs to spare even after dismissing their opponents very cheaply. If a side is going to be weak in one department I would prefer it to be batting, as a good bowling side can often make up for frailties with the bat, whereas there is nowhere to hide if your bowlers cannot do the job.
RWANDA GOING FORWARD
The top sides should make space for Rwanda in their schedules – more competition against them could only improve Rwanda. I would also like to see domestic competitions (Rachael Heyhoe-Flint trophy, Charlotte Edwards cup, The Hundred, The WBBL, and coming into existence later this month, the WIPL) include Rwandans among their overseas signings. There are a number of current Rwandan players who would be excellent value as an overseas signing in these leagues. A new nation with no prior cricketing heritage making its presence felt on the world stage can only be a good thing for those of who want the game we love to continue to grow and develop, and I give these young Rwandan women my heartfelt congratulations for their contribution to this tournament.
Time for my usual sign off…