The Rwanda Cricket Association has announced that expansion and upgrade works on IPRC-Kigali cricket ovalhas commenced to make it meet international standards.
The 140 square-meter facility is expected to cost over Rwf 100 million. The resources will mostly come from the Cricket Association’s development budget but negotiations with sponsors to support the project are underway.
The first phase of the upgrade works, which include construction of three turf pitches, three practice nets and an after-turf started last week and is expected to run until March 2021.
The Cricket Association will immediately embark on the second phase in April to construct dressing rooms, offices, and a gym.
Emma Byiringiro, the General Manager of Rwanda Cricket Association told Times Sport that clubs will find home at the new cricket complex for both trainings and tournaments.
Prior to the completion of the new cricket complex, Rwanda can finally start hosting international Cricket tournaments which Gahanga Cricket stadium could not host alone.
“We have missed out on chances to host international competitions because there was only one Cricket facility ready. I hope the new complex will help us attract international teams to participate in our competitions,” he said
Byiringiro revealed that expansion and upgrade activities of IPRC-Kigali Cricket oval is part of a big project in which RCA targets to build two cricket playgrounds that have international standards in the next five years as part of the Association’s plan to make Rwanda a Cricket hub in East Africa.
“We haven’t yet identified the land where they will be constructed but it is already in our plans to build them. And, with at least four Cricket grounds, we can attract teams to play in Rwanda and that would improve our competitions standards and our national teams’ continental and global rankings,” he explained.
Rwanda’s men national Cricket Team currently sits 78th in global rankings, while women’s national team sits 7th in Africa and 32nd in 105 countries globally.
Byiringiro said that the country’s rankings are not as impressive as his office wants because the national teams don’t play enough tournaments that can help them improve the rankings.
As long as Rwanda has the Crickets grounds at its disposal and ready to host a lot of cricket tournaments, Byiringiro is confident that the national team’s performances can improve, both in men and women categories, and they can start positioning themselves among the best in Africa.