Voice of Sport

Emily, Kenya women’s cricket skipper dies after illness in Nairobi

She was an ever present in the Kenya girls’ line-up and played numerous international matches including Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifiers


EMILY Chepng’etich Ruto, the captain of the Kenya national women’s cricket team died of illness on Friday, her family announced prompting a flurry of condolences from countrywide.

A young woman who picked up the game at high school, she was almost singularly the face of the nascent women’s game in the country. At just 25, her presence in the team was that of two-decade veteran.

Statement

Micah Ruto signed a statement by the family delivered to the media saying Emily died in the morning at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi.

She was the daughter of  Bomet County Governor Isaac Ruto, whose bemusement by the single-mindedness with which his daughter took up the game considered unfamiliar in her surroundings, made him give her the nickname “ChepCricket.”

Internationals

Emmy learnt the game at Kenya High School but because of lack of depth in school cricket was to be seen consistently attending men’s training with the Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club of Nairobi Club.

She was an ever present in the Kenya girls’ line-up and played numerous international matches including Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifiers.

Illness

In the cricket circles, mourning started for a dear colleague they said was struck by leukemia a year ago but battled on hoping to make full recovery. When she fell down to the most recent illness, many women and men players thronged the hospital last Sunday offering to donate blood for her.

Among the first condolences after her death were from Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta who said:

“[To the family and friends] It is with a deep sense of loss that I send you this message of condolenceand encouragement following the death of your beloved daughter and one of the young dedicated Kenyans Emmy Chepng’etich Ruto who passed on after a short illness.

Scnatched

“It is hard to comprehend how the cruel hand of death has so suddenly snatched Emmy Chepng’etich from our midst. She was an energetic, jovial and an extremely pleasant person.

“The death of Emmy reminds us that we are sojourners in this earth. It is therefore prudent for all of us to be focused and contribute to the well-beingof our society. May God rest her soul in eternal peace.”

University

Emily stepped up her cricket game even as she attended University of Nairobi and started working as an electrical engineer with the Geothermal Development Company in Nakuru.

Emmy took over the Kenya team captain in 2008. Her career took her competition in Uganda, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa where she also attended the high performance Africa Cricket Academy, South Africa in October 2011 with another girl player Sara Bakita.