Kampala. Barbara Mukankusi was one of the pioneer figures of the national women’s team in 2001 and actually is the last standing player from that first-ever assembled unit.
However, in recent years, nature’s call forced Mukankusi to sit aside and following the birth of her third child in 2017, she is back to the national fold.
The top-order batter was named among the 40-man squad that is set for early preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers from May 8-13 in Zimbabwe. “Of late, I have been playing locally but internationally, I last played in 2016,” said Mukankusi.
The veteran’s basis for her selection is the decent batting figures she posted as Pioneer came close to a second Jazz Safari National Women’s League title last year.
“I wanted Pioneer to win the league last year and that’s why I played the way I did. I am only glad the selectors still see potential in me,” stated Mukankusi.
Mukankusi, led the teams for years, reckons there is work to do even if she has history and figures to back her up. “I played last season minus practice because of the busy work schedule and family and we had no coach (at Pioneer),” she said. “(Now) national team comes with full package, coach, I must attend training and so on. I will gain much from this and improve on my performance.”
The training sessions which commence on Monday will have two groups trained in Jinja by Habib Mugalula and at Lugogo by Micheal Ndiko.
The composition is eight from Sixes Challenge champions Olila High, Jinja SSS has seven in, League and T20 queens Aziz Damani have six players as is Soroti Challengers. Olila High School’s Damalie Busingye, too, returns after three-year lull.
FULL TRAINING SQUAD
Rita Musamali, Janet Mbabazi, Rachael Ntono, Immaculate Nakisuyi, Joyce Mary Apio, Stephanie Nampiina, Franklyn Najjumba, Gertrude Candiru, Kevin Awino, Consy Aweko, Carol Namugenyi, Patricia Malemikia, Esther Ilukor, Damalie Busingye, Evelyn Ayipo, Irene Alumo, Leona Babirye, Teddy Ayella, Maria Kagoya, Kevin Amuge, Barbara Mukankusi, Janet Nakiranda, Hope Wanichan, Claire Mushakamba, Mackenzie Ayato, Proscovia Alako, Gloria Obukor, Eunice Alungat, Brenda Nabisalu, Lynet Nakato, Patricia Munguryek, Maria Mwesige, Racheal Achan, Sarah Walaza, Sarah Akiteng, Susan Kakai, Saddick Shakira, Mary Akello, Charity Nyokaru, Eunice Kobusingye Coaches: Habibu Mugalula (Jinja), Micheal Ndiko (Lugogo)