BY PATIENCE LEPHOGOLE
Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) National team Head Coach Joseph Angara has hailed the country’s national team efforts in Africa qualifiers.
Angara shared the sentiments on the backdrop of the qualification of the team to compete at the Africa Qualifier finals billed for Uganda in May 2019.
Botswana sealed her qualification for the Africa cricket showpiece with a match to spare on Friday when they easily beat Lesotho by 6 wickets in their penultimate match at the BCA Oval.
A masterful display by Inzimam Master, who notched a 34 runs from 27 balls was enough to see Botswana successfully chase a lowly 99 score posted by Lesotho.
Speaking after the team’s historical achievement, an elated Angara, who was still hopeful his players could claim the championship, opined the qualification was expected.
“It is not a surprise that our boys have qualified. Their hard work has paid off. The boys have been preparing for the tournament,” Angara explained.
Despite the team making it easily into the Africa finals, the Botswana coach said all the teams they played against, being Mozambique, Malawi, St Helena, Lesotho and Namibia, had given his young boys much needed exposure.
“All these countries helped in exposing the young players to tough competitions and also gave them necessary experience to compete without any intimidation from the opponents.” he added.
Angara further said the qualification was a much deserved reward for his hardworking young team, which he said possessed big potential.
“The boys deserve it so much and we are ready to take on teams at the Qualifiers. We promise to continue raising the national flag high,” he added.
“Come the Africa final Qualifiers, we are all set and are ready to compete. We will continue with friendly games even outside the country, and get as ready for them as possible,” he added.
On how are they going to prepare the team for Africa finals, Angara said they will keep working hard by putting a systematic plan that will keep the boys engaged and give them game time. “We will retain the team and keep it intact at all times,” he said
For his part, team manager Faz Sheriff said all they did was execute their plans and it has worked. He said, “We had 2 objectives, 1 was to qualify and the other was to be the tournament’s overall champion, am glad we have come this far.”
Sheriff added that the exposure has helped the boys and has no doubt that they will represent us well.
“The qualification is completely due to the sheer hard work, never-ending commitment and exceptional team spirit of the entire squad, coaching staff and the BCA management,” Sheriff concluded.