The former Treasurer and Developmental Officer for the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA), Girish Ramakrishna, recently accepted the post of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BCA.
He took over the role on the first of February and is already hard at work on new cricket initiatives.
In a country where sports doesn’t make huge amounts of money, Ramakrishna resigned from his lucrative position as Business Director from Grant Thornton, a company he worked for for 15 years, in order to take the cricket position on a full time basis.
His developmental programme, aimed at introducing cricket to government primary schools, recently helped Botswana win the International Cricket Council (ICC) award for Best cricket youth initiative.
The programme, which he started with a few students in 2007, has now enrolled a total of 65 schools and 4100 students across Botswana.
In 2007, the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) recognized his efforts in bringing cricket to Batswana and handed him the sought after award for non-citizen contribution to sport.
During the same year, he received the International Cricket Council (ICC) award for Regional volunteer for the whole of Africa.
“It’s an ICC sponsored role, and it’s the first time the role has ever been set up in Botswana. It’s guaranteed to bring about positive changes to the cricket community. In my capacity as CEO, I shall therefore be reporting directly to ICC offices,” said Ramakrishna.
In his 15 years under Grant Thornton employment, Ramakrishna served as senior executive, manager, senior manager and director in different fields. He has worked in the accounting department, tax department, and then business development.
“The new position required that we set up cricket offices that operate on a full time basis; it basically entails finance and developmental management amongst others. It requires the day-to-day handling of administration issues and official activities of Botswana Cricket Association. I am also expected to assist the association in developing long term strategies and to ensure continuous development for the youth programme,” said Ramakrishna.
The next step, he said, is to take Botswana’s cricket ranking much higher than where it currently stands through highly efficient team work and co-operation. Botswana cricket is currently ranked at number 37 in the world within the ICC ranking scales.
Ramakrishna’s long term goal is to set up Botswana’s first successful cricket academy and that will require coaches and teachers’ inputs, land, parental support and a number of other important factors, he said, that would bring the cricket spirit to the nation.
“Now that I have more time to focus on cricket, you can definitely expect to see more projects coming up for the country’s cricket community. In fact, next week we have an orientation course for about 38 teachers from different schools in Francistown and surrounding areas,” said Ramakrishna.
The BCA has received requests from schools who wanted to be part of the orientation course, schools such as Aerodrome, Centre for the Deaf, Ikhutseng, Mahube, Mahudiri, Maradu, Makaleng, Monarch, Moremogolo, Ntshe, Nyangabwe, Pelotswaana, Phase IV, Phatlhaga, Phatsimo, Satellite, Phatsimo, Tagala, Tatitown, Clifton, John Mackenzie, Mophato and TKM College.
Ramakrishna concluded by saying that the community should expect a lot from the BCA this year as they plan to make their presence in Botswana’s sport industry felt.
“Of course, there will be challenges ahead, especially in terms of land and transport for schools outside Gaborone, and we are still in need of support from the parents.”