Mbabazi’s ICC April Award nomination good for UCA

Global Limelight. Victoria Pearls vice captain Mbabazi (R ) was in a class of her own with successive solid all-round performances despite Uganda going down to Zimbabwe and Namibia in the recent Capricorn Women’s T20 Cricket Series in Windhoek. PHOTO | ICC MEDIA 

What you need to know:

  • With the bat, Mbabazi emerged as the fifth best with 118 runs and a healthy strike-rate of 73.75. Her best innings of 42* runs also came against Zimbabwe.

The senior national women’s cricket team - Victoria Pearls  - left Namibian capital Windhoek with heads held in their palms after they lost all six matches to the hosts and Namibia and Zimbabwe during the Capricorn Twenty20 Tri-Series last month.

As Uganda Cricket Association  (UCA) continues to grapple over the next phase for the Victoria Pearls whose top-20 global ranking by the International Cricket Council (ICC) is at threat, Janet Mbabazi has something to smile about.

The Soroti Challengers all-rounder was Uganda’s best player with bat and ball in Windhoek and this week, her performances came with a reward. ICC nominated Mbabazi alongside ODI World Cup stars Alyssa Healy of Australia and England’s Nat Sciver for the global ICC Player of the Month Award for April.

“I did not expect it. I keep looking at my picture on the same frame with Healy and Sciver and still don’t believe it,” Mbabazi said.

Mbabazi finished as the best bowler in Windhoek with 11 wickets and economy of 5.60 and her best spell of 4/12 came against Zimbabwe.

All-rounder

With the bat, Mbabazi emerged as the fifth best with 118 runs and a healthy strike-rate of 73.75. Her best innings of 42* runs also came against Zimbabwe.

“It means everything to me because I feel like I have been challenged to be better. It’s also encouragement for us Victoria Pearls,” added the 26-year-old who also won the T20 local league MVP on April 9. She is battling for votes via a digital electorate on the ICC website alongside Healy who struck a century of 170 runs off 138 deliveries against England in the World Cup final to guide Australia to a 71-run and a seventh title.

In the same match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on April 3, Sciver had attempted to reply to Australia’s score of 356-5 by knocking a ton of 148* runs off 121 balls but England fell short.

Healy finished as tournament’s highest run scorer with 509 runs in nine innings. The award winner will be announced on May 9. 

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