April 4 2010: In an endeavor to spread its wings to the whole of Botswana, the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) has started scouting for new talent in the northern parts of Botswana.
BCA coordinator Clement Chipanga told Sunday Standard that they have plans to incorporate primary schools in Francistown into their fold, after which they will start scouting for new talent in rural areas in the north.
“We made such a decision after realizing that we have been neglecting the northern parts of Botswana and only concentrating on the south. We hope that out initiative will help to grow cricket in the country” he said.
Early this year the BCA ran an orientation program for primary school teachers in the north to empower them with the basics of the cricket game. The hope was that the teachers would also facilitate the growth of cricket to other students and teachers in other schools.
“We will also identify a central venue in Francistown at which we will conduct specialized training for primary school students” said Chipanga.
During the school vacation the BCA will conduct a full week training program, at which they will try to identify talent.
“Ultimately, we want to come up with age based teams in the northern region. Such teams will in future be able to represent the northern region in national competitions, and even represent the country externally as part of the national team” he said.
Chipanga also said that the BCA aims to have established a northern region team by August this year, after which they will spread their wings to rural areas in the north.
The BCA will also hold umpiring and administration courses for teachers in the Francistown region.
Cricket sports equipment will also be provided as start up for the northern teams. The sports equipment will be handed over at the beginning of the next school term.
Chipanga said they hope that their initiative will help nurture talent in the north and also encourage more young players to join cricket.
He however said that their development projects are not only restricted to young people, as they are ready and willing to assist individuals of all ages who may be interested in the game.
The International Cricket Board is the main sponsor of the BCA initiative, but the association is still open to sponsorships or donations of any kind as they are currently battling with transport and equipment.
Chipanga also appealed to the Francistown City Council to allocate the BCA land for the setting up of new cricket facilities, which would make their job of identifying and nurturing talent easier.