The Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) is gunning for the upcoming Cricket Eight Nations tournament to be played in the last week of August.
The tournament that initially started as a four nation’s tournament grew to eight nations last year. It is in its second year and according to BCA officials the tournament is positively growing in the right direction.
BCA secretary of fixtures and publicity, Sumod Damodar, said the women’s participation in cricket was satisfactory. “We have grassroots development where young girls are playing and as they play they eventually grow their talent. “This has created enough resources of players to play at all levels from junior teams up to senior teams and eventually to play in the African qualifiers and the world cup qualifiers. It motivates girls to play cricket sport,” observed Damodar.
Damodar noted that the eight nations tournament created awareness that young women are playing cricket. There is no similar tournament in the world like the eight nations Botswana is host, he said.
On their target for the coming tournament, Damodar said they were aiming to win it after Botswana lost the previous tournament to Namibia in the finals.
Damodar pleaded with the nation to rally behind the team and motivate the girls to win the tournament. “We ask parents and friends to come and watch the players the girls play. The support will also show the visiting countries that Botswana is a nation with highest level of hospitality,” Damodar.
Contacted for comment International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) secretary general, Game Mothibi embraced BCA initiative of hosting the tournament.
“The tournament is helping to pursue agenda of women participation in sport. “Cricket (BCA) has shown commitment to growing women’s cricket and hosting this tournament will increase chances of more Batswana women engaging in the cricket or in other sport. The eight nations’ tournament will definitely continue to promote women’s sport locally and regionally,” Mothibi said.
She said BCA mobilised other competing nations in this tournament to sign the IWG’s Brighton Plus Helsinki 2014 declaration. “National organisations have continued to show their commitment in women and sport as there is continued engagement between IWG office and other cricket signatories. This happened with encouragement by BCA.
Mothibi observed that eight nations’ women cricket will be coming just after netball World Youth Cup 2017 which saw lot of support for team Botswana. “I hope the support will rub off and be extended to ladies cricket,” Mothibi said.
The eight nations that have confirmed their participation in the coming tournament are the host Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.