by Philip Richards

Cricket youth enter first ever World Cup
The qualifiers for the Under-19 ICC World Cup were hosted in late July and August in Dar es Salaam. This holds immense importance for Tanzania as the country has never participated in the prestigious World Cup event before.

The Tanzanian team faced the likes of Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Namibia with the would-be winner joining regional winners from Asia, East Asia Pacific, Europe, and America as well as the 11 full members in the qualification pathway ahead of the global finals in Sri Lanka in 2024.

Tanzanian skipper John Nyambo was reported to be keen to secure a place in the finals, promising that the Tanzanian team will fight hard to win by utilising the home ground’s advantage. “We are determined to make history, even though we face formidable opponents,” said the 17-year-old captain, highlighting the team’s commitment to achieving their World Cup dreams. (Daily News 26/7/23)

Cricket match at Zanzibar

Regardless of the outcome of the qualifiers, the u19 team will hope to contribute to the history of the sport in the country. Cricket was first played in what is now Tanzania in 1890 on Zanzibar by the British Navy as recreation for the officers and crew. Cricket spread to Tanganyika after the British took over the League of Nations mandate in 1919. The national side played its first game in 1951 and became an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2001. It is currently 31st in the T20I rankings of the ICC. One of the most well-known local players to play on the international stage was John Salanky. A right-handed batsman and right-arm off spin/medium pace bowler, he played for Glamorgan County Cricket Club between 1972 and 1976.

Football – national team qualify for AFCON 2024
A goalless draw against qualification group winners Algeria away from home has secured the national team Taifa Stars a place in the African Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast next year. Having reached their first Nations Cup in 1980, the Taifa Stars failed to appear again until the 2019 finals but are now back again.

Coach Adel Amrouche, who was born in Algeria, masterminded a success few saw coming in a challenging group. The Algerians, who had already qualified, left their key superstars such as West Ham’s Said Benrahma and former Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez on the bench until the second half, when it was too late for them to make any impact.

The result left Taifa Stars on 8 points in the group, one ahead of Uganda and enough to secure qualification. Earlier they had achieved 1-0 victories against Uganda and Niger, and a 1-1 draw against Niger. (BBC)

World Athletics Championships – Budapest 2023
Less positive news for Tanzania’s in athletics as the ongoing challenges were highlighted in the country’s poor representation and performance in the recent world championships in Budapest. The country only sent one athlete, Alphonce Simbu who took part in the men’s marathon event, and he did not finish.

This contrasts with the stellar record of Tanzania’s neighbours, most notably Kenya, who sent 52 athletes and walked away with ten medals, including three golds. Uganda came away with two gold medals.

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