U19 Cricket: Tanzania keen to clear hurdles

THE national team skipper John Nyambo said Tanzania is keen to perform well in the U19 World Cup qualifiers which the country hosts in Dar es Salaam at the moment.

The would-be winner will join regional winners from Asia (Nepal), East Asia Pacific (New Zealand), Europe, and America as well as the 11 full members in the qualification pathway ahead of the global finals in Sri Lanka in 2024.

Skipper Nyambo has expressed a zeal to secure a place in the ICC Men’s World Cup finals, slated to be held in Sri Lanka in 2024, saying that Tanzania will fight hard to win by utilising the home ground’s advantage.

He said players are determined to give everything to ensure they claim the top spot.

For Tanzania, this qualification holds immense importance as the country has never participated in the prestigious World Cup event before.

Nyambo expressed his excitement of playing at home, in front of fans and families, though he added they have a hard task of holding home’s pressure.

However, the players are brimming with confidence and spirit, boasting a blend of experienced players and promising young talents.

“We are determined to make history, even though we face formidable opponents,” said the 17-year-old captain, highlighting the team’s commitment to achieving their World Cup dreams.

The opening fixture of the qualifying series, initially scheduled for Sunday, had to be cancelled as all matches were called off because of torrential rains that pounded some parts of Dar es Salaam, allowing the competing teams to share the points. Tanzania was set to face Kenya in their opening clash.

The defending champions, Uganda, and the pre-tournament favorites, Namibia, were expected to face off in the tournament opener at Dar Gymkhana, but the match was also called off.

Namibia and Uganda possess a wealth of experience, with each team boasting no less than four players who participated in the last qualifier in Kigali in October 2021.

Kenya, too, has remarkable talent in their ranks, with a player who scored a double century at the U-19 level during the Division II Africa Qualifier match in Abuja, Nigeria, last year.

Kenyan captain Vishil Patel expressed his team’s excitement for the competitive tournament, emphasising the familiarity and determination among the players, who were part of the successful Division II Africa Qualifier.

Nigeria, eager to make amends for their previous performance, is looking forward to showcasing their abilities in Dar es Salaam. Captain Ridwan AbdulKareem stressed that qualifying for the World Cup is the collective ambition of the team.

Sierra Leone’s spirited skipper, John Bangura, echoed the sentiments of all participating teams, expressing the desire to create lasting memories in Dar es Salaam. He emphasised that qualifying for the World Cup would transcend mere dreams, becoming a remarkable achievement for the team.

Uganda’s captain, Fahad Mutagana, described the tournament as a pathway to the team’s dreams, highlighting the opportunity to become the only sporting team from Uganda to have played in four global events.

As the tournament unfolds, cricket enthusiasts and supporters eagerly await the outcome, hoping that Tanzania will script a historic chapter by securing their place in the ICC Men’s World Cup finals.

The stakes are high, and the determination of the host nation is unwavering, promising an enthralling and closely contested qualifying series in Dar es Salaam.

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