This week’s Monday marked the kick off of the first day of the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA)’s Under 11 Boy’s Tournament at the Gaborone Cricket grounds.
The tournament is for children that were signed up for cricket under the government schools developmental programme that started in 2007. It’s expected that about 12 government primary schools will turn up for the tournament.
The CEO of Botswana Cricket, Girish Ramakrishna, said that the finals are scheduled for the 2nd of June, and that all will go as planned as long as there are no weather interruptions. He said that as always the BCA will provide incentives to encourage the young cricketers in pursuing a future in cricket.
“There are prizes for the individual Man of the Match for every game. We also have prizes for the best batsman, best bowler, and best fielder apart from the Man of the Match from the semi final stage. There is also a prize for the Player of the Tournament,” said Ramakrishna.
The 12 schools expected to participate in the tournament are Itumeleng, Philip Moshotle, Ramogotsi, Mojadife, Phaphane, Bophirima, Ben Thema, Masa, Oodi, Modipane, Notwane and Kgabo Sereto primary schools.
The schools have been categorized into three groups.
Meanwhile, Ramakrishna revealed that although he is not particularly worried about girls’ performances in cricket, he is brainstorming ways to attract more girls into the sport. He said that it was one of the ICC’s strategic mission statements to empower girls and women in cricket.
This, he said, will achieve through information dissemination about the unisex nature of cricket as a bid to get women and children to join. He added that the developmental programme already has a very good Under 15s girls’ team.
He also revealed that cricket was the only sport in Botswana which currently has a woman, Thuto Barei, in a coordinators’ position.
She is currently a coordinator for the Botswana Primary Schools Association.
“We have only just started enrolling girls in cricket so I am not worried about their performance; they are doing quite well, with time and practice they will catch up with the boys,” said Ramakrishna.
He also said that it was easy for girls in cricket to make it to the cricket World Cup than it would for girls in soccer to make it to the football world cup. He said that the future for cricketers is paved and it has a good scope for girls who want to take cricketing further.