It’s not often that a story emerges from Rwanda that leaves you with a smile. Rwanda officially completes its entry into the Commonwealth this week (and a big two-fingers to France) by attending the heads of government meeting as a full member. Despite no historical connection with the British Empire, you can’t fault its commitment to full-blooded membership of the great old boys’ club. Conscious of its parvenue status, Rwanda has been hard at work to sure up its Britishness. And what could be more British than the slap of leather on willow?
Aided by British NGO Cricket Without Boundaries, cricket has set up stumps in Kagali, and plans are afoot for Rwanda’s first ever international friendly against Uganda. A cyncial political ploy? Given that an early game had to be abandoned on the discovery of an unexploded landmine at silly mid-on, I say not. As CWB argues, cricket’s unifying qualities can bring diverse and often polarized communities together. And let’s not forget, poor Paul Kagame doesn’t want to be caught out at his first Commonwealth conference not knowing his flipper from his googly. What would the neighbours think?