High profile delegates from the United Kingdom will join Rwandans to take part in the Umuganda monthly community service exercise this Saturday ahead of Gahanga cricket oval inauguration.
Delegates who have confirmed participation include; the Duchess of York Sarah Margaret Ferguson, UK lawmaker and friend of Rwanda, Andrew Mitchel, and the Sheriff of London Timothy Hailes.
The inaugural guest delegation will include 150 cricketers and officials from the UK, 18 from Kenya, about 25 from Uganda and between 500 and 1000 Rwandans from local cricket clubs belonging 10 schools across the country.
The group will participate in the construction of school structures at Karembure secondary school, located in Gahanga sector near the Nyanza-Kicukiro main taxi park.
“We wanted our delegates to do something tangible for the community instead of just participating in a monthly cleaning exercise to cut grass and clear bushes” said Rwanda professional cricketer, Eric Dusingizimanan- the architect behind the stadium project.
President Paul Kagame is expected to officially inaugurate awaited over Rwf950-million state-of-the-art international cricket stadium in Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro District.
The Duchess of York and MP Mitchell are expected to arrive today alongside international cricketers Brian Lara and Michael Vaughan – who are Trinidadian and England former batsmen respectively.
Former British Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and David Cameroun, will not be at the event as earlier anticipated. Both former PM’s are patrons of the Rwanda cricket initiative – Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) – an NGO that is registered in Rwanda and the UK.
RCSF has supported the construction of the cricket stadium project since its initiation in 2015.
Current trending images and videos of the stadium indicate that all is set for the inauguration event this October 28.
On the same day there will be a men’s game in which celebrity match that will greatest batsmen of all times Brian Lara’s team pit against Michael Vaughan’s team.
Rwandan Women cricketers will not be able to play, however many of them are excited to have contributed to the cause which saw that first international cricket stadium built in Rwanda.
Rwandan female cricketer Cathia Uwamahoro, 24, who came in the cricket limelight putting her name in the Guinness World Record after batting straight for 26 hours in February this year, says that seeing the stadium complete is a dream come true.
“I sweated for this achievement (oval stadium) but most important for me is that we shall be able to play on a grass wicket field which we didn’t have and one of the reasons Rwanda has lost many international games” Uwamahoro told KT Press.
Inaugural Game Plan
The five teams from England are Coutts, Eton Ramblers, Christopher Shale (Surrey), Grannies and Yorkshire Tea. Matches will be played at both Gahanga Stadium and Kicukiro Cricket Oval.
Teams will be divided into two pools. Pool A’ comprising of Rwanda, Coutts, Eton Ramblers and Kenya and Pool B’ consists of Christopher Shale (Surrey), Grannies, Yorkshire Tea and Uganda.
The top two teams from each pool will chucker and batter to the semi-finals and the grand finale on October 29.
The Cricket game was included in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. This is the only time cricket was played at a Commonwealth Games.
Rwanda is also a member of the Commonwealth countries since November 2009, and the Gahanga event is expected to change Rwanda’s history and repositioning in one of the games that the Queen of England gives value to.