The Botswana 19 and under softball team who have become traditional also runs of the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championships are hoping to re-write history at the upcoming world competition slated for 24-30 July in Midland, USA.
The Botswana team has been participating in the competition for some time and all they have to show for their efforts is an un-broken record of losses.
The team which has been pitted against Argentina, Australia, USA, Czech Republic, Denmark and Venezuela in Pool A is however confident that this year history will not repeat itself.
The tournament is divided into two groups and the top 4 teams, two from each pool will book themselves a place in the double page play-off system of the tournament.
Another African nation at the championships is South Africa which is in Pool B. The Botswana team’s coach Basiame Molatlhiwa told The Telegraph they are expecting tough competition but they are going into the championships with positive minds.
‘’Since partaking in this competition seasons ago we have never won a single match but we will fight hard to punish opponents this time around,” said Molatlhiwa. He is confident that with the experience that comes with his technical team Botswana 19 will make the nation proud. ‘’Our intentions is to change the boys mentality ahead of the games, they should enter the stage with a winning mentality. Our technical team has a lot of international exposure and they are doing a great job in guiding the youngsters,” noted Molatlhiwa.
Players called to camp were selected from the past Botswana games held at the Francistown Sports Complex. The team had a week long training camp last week in preparation for the games and the squad was whittled down to 30 players.
‘’We have trimmed the squad for better assessment because only 17 players will make the final cut for the championships. We still have a few months to prepare and fortunately the Bofinet championships will assist us as we continue to search for players,” said Molatlhiwa.
Teams in Pool B include New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, and Israel. A press statement issued by WBSC Softball Division President Dale McMann read “The WBSC is proud to announce a global collection of nations for the 11th Junior Men’s Softball World Championship,” said. “With its existing world class venues and knowledgeable fans, Midland 2016 will be an ideal backdrop for these elite young athletes to shine and proudly wear the jerseys of their countries representing and spreading our sport in their part of the world and beyond. The WBSC is committed to showcasing our sport’s world championships to advance our leading position and appeal as a youth-based sport across both genders.”