World Cup ‘next stop’ for triumphant Kenyan women

Wednesday December 21 2016

From left to right: National women’s cricket team player Mary Wangare, coach Lameck Odhiambo and captain Daisy Wairimu pose with the UAE International Women’s T20 Cup after being hosted for a luncheon at the Mayfair Hotel on December 21, 2016. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

From left to right: National women’s cricket team player Mary Wangare, coach Lameck Odhiambo and captain Daisy Wairimu pose with the UAE International Women’s T20 Cup after being hosted for a luncheon at the Mayfair Hotel on December 21, 2016. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RICHARD MWANGI
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After winning the Emirates International Twenty-20 Cricket Tournament in Sharjah on Monday, the national women’s cricket team now wants to reach the 2021 World Cup.

The victorious team returned home Wednesday from Dubai where they defeated hosts United Arab Emirates by five wickets in Monday’s final to clinch their first major international title.

Cricket Kenya chairlady Jackie Janmohamed hosted the team for lunch at May Fair Hotel and rewarded each player $100 (Sh10,200).

Mary Wambui, who was voted player of the tournament got an additional Sh20,400, and Edith Wanjiru, who was semi-finals player of the match received an additional Sh10,200.

“I dedicate this trophy to our former captain Emily Chepng’etich Ruto. This is what you wanted, we have given it back to you,” said Janmohammed.

The late Ruto, daughter of Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, died of Leukemia at Aga khan Hospital on October 24, 2014.

She was a dedicated all-rounder and one of the top scorers.

“We would ensure the girls qualify for the 2021 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand,” said Janmohammed.

Captain Daisy Wairimu said: “It was not easy for me. I was very scared at first because, I had not led a senior team before. I was disappointed when we lost to hosts UAE by five runs only in the preliminary rounds.   It was even  worse  when we bowled 26 extras against Uganda in the semi-finals.

GAINED COURAGE

“I gained courage when we reached the final and I told the girls we should not give away more than seven extras in the next game,” she added.

Wairimu said she turned to senior players, Margret Banja, Sarah Bhatika and Sharon Juma for advice.

The captain, a third year Information Technology student at the Nakuru’s Institute of Advanced Technology and other Nakuru-based players were introduced to the sport by former national team player, Peter Ong’ondo, who was posted to Nakuru by CK as an elite coach in 2012.  

Ong’ondo found David Asiji and Joseph Somba there. The duo introduced the game in the region and Ong’ondo took the girls to the next level.

Ong’ondo said that there were three other promising girls in Nakuru who could take over from the current players if they slacken down.