Mojadife Primary School’s league winning streak recently came to an end when a fierce Itumeleng dislodged them from the top position. Itumeleng Primary School cricketers are the proud winners of this year’s junior league for the Under 13s.
Itumeleng scored 113 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs to win against runner-up Philip Moshotle’s 89 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs.
The finals were held on Wednesday at the Botswana cricket grounds. The junior league, which is the brainchild of the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA)’s developmental programme, has been in existence on our soils since 2007.
It was started as an initiative by the BCA to involve government schools in playing the joyous sport that cricket has turned out to be for the primary school going children. The league currently has about 20 government schools from Gaborone and the outskirts participating. Mojadife Primary School had been the outstanding winner and holder of the title since its inception; it also looked as if they might take the league’s trophy for the third year running.
The prize giving ceremony was graced with the presence of the Chairman of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), Negroes Kgosietsile, vice-president of the Botswana National Sports council (BNSC) Dr Nomsa Mbere, the chairman of BCA, Ibrahim Bhamjee, treasurer of the BCA and developmental officer of the government school programme, Girish Ramakrishna. Teachers from participating schools and supportive parents also graced the ceremony.
Kgosietsile said that he was most impressed with the children’s conduct as they proved to be disciplined. He expressed his amazement at the work the BCA had done and commended them for it.
“This shows that you might be able to do more good work if you are allocated the land you have been asking for. I am also impressed by the presence of girl players in the league. We always like it when our girls are involved in something innovative; they should be given a pat on the back for daring to try new sporting ventures and showing that women too can do it,” said Kgosietsile.
Bhamjee asserted that indeed the league had grown as is evident from its growth from 11 to 20 schools. He also commented on the quality cricket that is now being played in the league, saying that without the input of their developmental officer, Ramakrishna, the league would not be what it was today.
“Talent within the programme has grown in leaps and bounds and I for one can vouch that Botswana’s cricket has a bright future,” said Bhamjee.
As promised, a number of incentives and awards were given to the most outstanding players. The BCA had also introduced more recognition awards to keep the children inspired.
The team awards varied according to performance and deliverance. The award for team played in the best spirit of the game went to Ramogotsi Primary School. While the award for most improved team of the year went to Modipane Primary School.
The award for the most disciplined team went to Bophirima Primary School, while the awards for individual players were also awarded in terms of performance.
The emerging Player of the Year award went to Bernard Solomon, an enthusiastic young man from Oodi Primary School.
Thato Mazula, an impressive talent in the making, also an off-spring from the second best team of the league, Philip Moshotle, won the Player of the Tournament award, a big feat.
The most enthusiastic Players of the Year awards went to Obakeng Rathipana and Dineo Oaitse, both from Ikageng Primary School.
Tamua Maleme from Tsogang Primary School and Onatile Kgwarapi were also recipients of the award.
There was a special prize for most runs for the opening wicket-200 runs for no loss, the award was handed over to both Thatayaone Thusasa and Obakeng Eymen. The two were part of the winning team, Itumeleng.