The third Mini-World Cup Cricket Tournament was at the weekend sponsored by a staggering P150,000 by the World Group, the company which oversees Trade World and Builders World.
The tournament will have such renowned greats in cricket as India, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa and Botswana battling it out to qualify for the semi finals.
Officially launching the tournament, the director of the World Group, Imraan Sardar, said their objective is to encourage the youth to actively participate in cricket as well as other sporting codes in Botswana.
He said they view the development of a strong sporting culture not just in terms of winning at international competitions and putting Botswana as a country on the sporting map of the world, but also in providing activities which occupy the youth constructively.
“Sports help to combat alcoholism and drug addiction and we would like to encourage all schools to come forward and to participate at both spectacular level as well as player level,” he said.
Giving the vote of thanks, the vice president of the Botswana National Sports Council, Dr. Nomsa Mbere, thanked the World Group for their unconditional support for cricket, adding that for sports to succeed there has to be sponsorship.
She also appreciated the growth of cricket in Botswana, saying: “I see cricket growing beyond all the boundaries”.
She was commenting in reference to the fast growth of cricket in Botswana as it threatens to surpass other sporting codes like softball, basketball and volleyball by popularity.
This year’s tournament promises to be fierce as there are prizes to be won with the ‘man of the match’ of each game guaranteed P100.00 while the batsman of the series will walk away with P200.00. Other prizes are for bowler of the series and fielder of the series, both of whom will pocket home P200.00 each. Man of the tournament will get P300.00.
Sardar also announced that there shall be P100.00 for every four scored and P200.00 for every six scored which shall be donated to a charitable organisation yet to be identified.
He stated that in the past they have donated thousands to charities such as the Botswana Society for the Deaf and Childline.
In the opening match of the tournament, on the same day, Zimbabwe surprised a lot of cricket enthusiasts by setting a new tone of the tournament by walloping the defending champions, India, by 185 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.
Zimbabwe bowled India out for 144 inns in 27.1 over’s, thus winning by 41 runs. Zimbabwe collected two points. Reginald Nehonde of Zimbabwe went home P200.00 richer for being man of the match.
On Thursday, Sri Lanka will take over South Africa and Botswana will battle it out with Pakistan. The four top teams from the tournament will qualify for the semi finals.