Rwanda’s Kwibuka T20 tournament will start on June 4 marking its return to the calendar after it was struck off the calendar last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 10-day women’s tournament will end on June 13. The Kwibuka T20 has been running since 2014 to commemorate the victims of genocide carried out in the country in the mid-90s.

Namibia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Botswana, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have been invited to take part in the tournament. The Kwibuka T20 will be accorded international status and will carry ICC ranking points for the teams.

The 2019 edition featured women’s teams from Uganda, Tanzania and Mali and was played in a double round-robin league format. The Tanzania women’s cricket team won the title.

The 2021 Kwibuka T20 is scheduled with an eye to help the teams to prepare for the Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers, scheduled in Botswana in September.

According to a report in The New Times, the Rwanda Cricket Association has already begun preparations after a nod from the Ministry of Sports.

“RCA believes that cricket is a non-contact sport, with very low risks of exposure, and that it can be played as safely as many other sporting activities,” RCA said.

Namibia, Nigeria and Uganda have welcomed the tournament’s return this year. The Rwanda cricket team is expected to begin its training early next week.

“The goal is to improve Rwanda’s performances across the men, women and the Under-19 national teams,” RCA Secretary-General Julius Mbaraga said. “We are aware that improving performance requires you to win and if you win the tournament, you go up in the ICC rankings.”

The tournament is going to be held under strict COVID-19 protocols like social distancing, usage of masks, regular temperature checks and so on.

As per the current ICC T20I rankings, Rwanda is ranked 34th.

Featured photo: Twitter / Rwanda Cricket Association