The Botswana National Cricket team lost to South Africa’s Northwest Dragons on Thursday.
The friendly game, which was played at the Gaborone Cricket Oval, was in preparations for the Zone 7 tournament to be played in Singapore by the end of August to the 4th of September.
The Northwest Dragons, a North West Province team which reached the finals of the South African Airways sponsored cricket season last year, won the game by 267 runs with 7 wickets against Botswana’s 265 runs with 5 wickets.
The Northwest Dragons started at a slower pace as they started out bowling and fielding to the Botswana national team through its first two batsmen, John Mokokwe and Faisal Rana Rasheed. The duo was shining and collecting more runs at every batting.
Despite losing, the Botswana national cricket coach, Mr. Solly Chothia, said they had prepared very well. He said they had played many 50 overs (set of six deliveries by the bowler) and “we intend to intensify our preparations by playing two more friendly games and another three warm up games in Sri Lanka before finally heading for the zone 7 cricket tournament in Singapore”.
The Northwest Dragons head coach, Mr. Jaco Peens, said he had been optimistic of the win as his team started well despite the fierce courage put forward by the Botswana side, he said, adding that “this game helped us for the preparation of the upcoming South African cricket season, which hopefully will be sponsored by South African Airways”.
Cricket, a sport which is believed to have started in Southern England in the 16 Century, has 104 members world wide and it has millions of fans in countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe. The sport has since spread to all corners of the world, Botswana included, and it has since gained local interest as witnessed by the 5 Batswana native members in the national team that comprised of many Batswana of Indian origin.
The sport is also regarded as the second most popular sport after football/soccer. Mosa Gaolekwe, one of the native Batswana members, said passion drives him to play cricket.
“I started in 1993 with a friend who also plays for the national team and since then I have never looked back. It is an interesting sport, which is why I enjoy and like it.”