Cricket first came to Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. In the months and years that followed the atrocities, thousands of Rwandans, having grown up playing cricket in exile in nearby countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, came home to rebuild their lives in the land of their ancestors. In 1999 a small number of former exiles founded the Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA), and in 2003 Rwanda became an Affiliate Member of the International Cricket Council.
Cricket is now played competitively at international, club and school levels in Rwanda. A club league, three club tournaments, a schools competition and a university competition make up the eleven month formal cricketing calendar.
Thousands of young Rwandans, both male and female, play cricket in orphanages, primary and secondary schools and universities. The Rwandan boys and girls teams (from U13 - U19) compete well within the East and Central African region.
But more than a decade after the RCA leased its first ground on the site of a well-known genocide massacre site, and despite playing numbers exceeding 4,500, there is still only one cricket pitch in Rwanda.
"Rwandan cricket has come a long way since its conception in 1999. Plenty of milestones have been reached in spite of major infrastructural challenges. Thanks to the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, the planned national ground will act as a springboard for arguably the fastest growing team sport in Rwanda to reach a playing audience we could only have dreamt of." Charles Haba, President, Rwanda Cricket Association
MILESTONES IN RWANDAN CRICKET
1999 Rwanda Cricket Association formed and recognized by the Rwandan Ministry of Culture and Sports
2002 One hectare of land leased from Kicukiro College of Technology.
2003 Rwanda invited to join the International Cricket Council as an Affiliate Member
2004 ICC Development Program for Africa hold its first Affiliate Tournament. Rwandan men's team compete against Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone
2007 Project Umubano coaches cricket as part of its annual social action project in Rwanda
2008 Rwandan men's team makes its debut at the Pepsi ICC Africa Division 3 Championships, finishing 2nd behind Sierra Leone
2010 Rwanda U19 girls' team beat regional heavy-weights Kenya
APR 2011 Rwandan men's team win the Pepsi ICC Africa Division 3 Championship in Ghana, defeating the Seychelles in a play-off
NOV 2011 Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation formed, with a pledge to build the country's first dedicated cricket ground as a springboard for further growth
JAN 2012 Veronica Iriho and Sonia Uwimana, two of Rwanda's most promising female cricketers, selected to attend a training clinic in South Africa;
MAR 2012 Colin Siller, former coach of Canada, Fiji and Sweden, appointed Rwandan men's national team coach.