(couldnt find any cricket images of the team)
(map indicating countries with cricket teams in Africa)
As i checked in at the Kenya Airways counter two weeks ago on my way to Ghana. I was flanked by almost a dozen young suited brothers in a maroon and green combo. I couldnt make out the crests on their jackets but when i asked later i was informed that they were the Sierra Leone National Cricket Squad on their way to a competition in Malawi. Countries included in the Africa Division 3 competitions were Malawi, Rwanda, Gambia, Lesotho, Morroco, and the Sierra Leone underdogs.
We got on the airplane and the teams manager a very dapper greying krio gentle man in a straw hat turned around to respond to a team member behind me who was asking to have his photograph taken in the plane.
“Bo you sure say u want make ah shoot you”-team manager.
“Yes shoot me”- team member
“Bohboh you sure? Oona yeri oh na di man say make ah shoot am na plane”- team manager
People started to chuckle aware that he was poking fun of the player.
A Lebanese guy sitting next to the team manager asked where they were going and he explained that they were headed to Malawi for a competition.He wished them good luck. Not to be out done and totally meaning it, i too wished them goodluck as i exited the airplane two hours later when we landed in accra.
I was most proud and happy to learn when i came back on tuesday that the team had in fact returned home with medals last week as the runners up to compete in the World Cricket League Divison 2 Africa competitions to be played in Benoni, South Africa next year.
The cricket squad consisted of 5 Under19 players and 8 seniors. Sierra Leone and Lesotho were the only two teams playing with 100% locally based and born players
Back in April this year Sierra Leone and Uganda were the only african teams to qualify for the U19 championship September games in Canada. However, the canadian government refused them visas and they failed to make it to the competition and were disqualified (according to the Canadian consul in ghana-Sierra Leone submitted their visa apps too late…but it is the widely held view that they are afraid that the players will not return to Salone after the matches in Canada)
Despite all this the Cricket Team continues to fly the national banner up way way high. Your cricket is cool!!!
A VERY BIG CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU TO OUR NATIONAL SIDE.
YOU MAKE ME VERY PROUD