Rwanda Cricket Association on Friday, January 15, appointed Leonard Nhamburo as the new head coach for Rwanda Women National Cricket team for the next two years.
The Zimbabwean, 40, takes over the hot seat from Ugandan Joshua Mwanja who has been at the helm since 2014 after the Cricket Association tasked him to focus on the national Cricket development programmes.
There has been a tremendous growth of women’s cricket over the past few years with the increase in the number of women clubs and also a lot of girls playing cricket in schools and communities.
In the past two years, Rwanda’s national women Cricket team has been able to play test series with Nigeria and for the first time participated in the ICC women world cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe where they won twice and lost two games.
The team currently sits seventh in Africa and 32nd on the world rankings.
“In a bid to continue improving and be competitive on the international stage, the board and management of Rwanda Cricket Association thought it wise to hire a coach with experience and international repute with a proven track record in women cricket,” reads a press statement released by the Cricket governing body.
Nhamburo’s first assignment will be to prepare the women cricket team for the annual Kwibuka tournament that takes place in June and the ICC Women world Cup qualifiers slated for November this year in Botswana.
“Leonard [Nhamburo] comes with proven experience having been in the Zimbabwean coaching structure for the past 20 years. The major reason that we hired him is to take the Women national team to the Global World Cup Qualifiers,” said Emma Byiringiro, the RCA General Manager in an interview.
Rwanda’s cricketers already have high expectations in Nhamburo, who has established his name in African Cricket, having played a big role in the development of the game in his home country Zimbabwe for over about a decade before joining Namibia in 2019.
With Zimbabwe, the tactician won Africa Regional World Cup Qualifiers 2016, the 4 Nations U-19 Girls Tournament Botswana in 2014 while he also qualified the country for the 2017 Global World Cup Women in Sri Lanka.
His achievements with Zimbabwe caught the attention of the Namibian Cricket Association which signed him in 2019 to coach their Women’s national Cricket team.
During his tenure, Namibia’s women became the 2019 Africa Regional World Cup qualifiers runners-up before qualifying them for the 2019 Global Women World Cup Qualifiers in Scotland.