The Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) is impressed and awed by the performance portrayed by the Botswana Under 13 boys’ squad against much stronger opponents this past week in South Africa.
Last week, the BCA sponsored a squad made up of students from government-aided schools to compete in the Eastern Junior Club Cricket Festival held in Benoni, South Africa, from the 30th of June to the 5th of July. Girish Ramakrishna who is treasurer of the association feigns happiness and a glamorous future ahead of the boys.
“It’s only the beginning but the boys’ improvement has been tremendous, especially this past week. Their spirits are high and they have gained confidence.”
The festival, which was sponsored by a number of well-known and established companies, was attended by 6 Under-13 teams, 12 Under-15 teams and 4 Under-17 teams.
The Botswana squad, led by Kitso Motlogelwa as captain, played against 6 teams and although they lost some of the games, they won the last one, which really motivated them to practice hard at the sport they have come to love so that they do better next time.
The Botswana development team played their first game against Ekhurhuleni Under 12 to a result of 44 for 10 wickets for a loss against 45 for 0 wickets.
Their second game was against Swaziland Under 13 in which a near win was apparent when Botswana scored an 83 for 2 wickets with Swaziland scoring a minor win of 87 for 2 wickets.
The third game saw the Botswana development team facing their counterparts from Botswana, the Gaborone Cricket Club Under 13, in which another win merely slipped through the inspired boys’ hands. Botswana Development scored a 76 for 4 wickets with the latter scoring an 80 for 5 wickets.
The fourth game presented a more challenging front when the boys faced the hosts from South Africa who won by a bigger margin, which was not a surprise, considering the many years invested in cricket.
The hosts scored a 327 for 6 wickets, with our boys settling for a 76 for 8 wickets. Except for the experience gained, the boys also received a number of awards due to their apparent passion and dedication to the sport.
In a letter written to Ramakrishna, who has also been personally investing money for the development of the sport, the Chairman of Eastern Junior Club Cricket Association in South Africa, Mark Kingham, expressed his surprise at the boys’ proper conduct and discipline.
“The team was managed in a professional manner by two lady teachers and displayed a great deal of appreciation for everything that was done for them,” said Kingham.
The team won an award for “Team of the Festival” against 22 teams, this, according to Kingham, is no easy feat.
He claims that most of the sponsors and parents present were brought to tears by the dedication and appreciation expressed by the boys. The boys also won the “most improved team of the festival” award and each player received recognition of such.
Kingham commended Ramakrishna and the whole cricket association for their junior development team’s achievements on the grounds that even though they are a new project, they have started on terms of distinction.
The teams are back home and ready to practice for the next tournament against Swaziland at a date to be confirmed.