Rwanda Gets a Cricket Pitch

In a further sign of Rwanda’s tilt away from Francophone to Anglophone cultural norms, a cricket pitch is being built near the scene of a massacre during the devastating genocide of 1994. Naturally, the chap building the stadium and pitch is a Brit. How, you might ask, has cricket taken off in a colony with no previous history of the game and little connection to the British Empire. The answer is war. According an an article in the Guardian:

The game was introduced after thousands of Rwandans, having grown up playing cricket in exile in nearby countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, came home to rebuild their lives after the genocide.

In 1999, a small number of former exiles founded the Rwanda Cricket Association, and in 2003 Rwanda became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council.

There are more than 2,000 regular cricketers in the country with a further 3,000 playing the game in schools, universities and orphanages. The national team plays in the third division of the International Cricket Council Africa and won the championship in 2011, defeating the Seychelles in a playoff. The year before, the U19 girls’ team beat Kenya, the regional cricketing power.

 

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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