Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) has selected a 35-member team to represent the country at U-15 level. The team was elected on Wednesday following a three-day tournament that saw U-15 boys’ teams from eight regions battling it out on the pitch. The tournament was part of BCA’s development programme aimed at empowering players from a young age. BCA Chief Executive Officer Girish Ramakrishna said the initiative is to develop future cricketers through systematic processes. Ramakrishna said it is to expose and nurture these young cricketers from the grass root and introduce them to competitive cricket. The tournament brought together teams from regions such as Gaborone, Thamaga, Molepolole, Ramotswa, Selebi Phikwe, Lobatse, Francistown and Mochudi made up of students from primary and secondary schools.
Following the three-day battle, Mochudi region emerged the victors. The Kgatleng side was crowned champions, taking home gold medals and a trophy. In the second place came Thamaga region with Molepolole settling for the third position. Speaking at the end of the tournament Ramakrishna said their mission as BCA was to close the gap between the senior national team and the other teams. He said the U-15 team should act as the feeder of the senior teams hence players should be identified at a young age. He said they are looking at introducing the U-15 league to keep the players fit at all times not only during tournaments. Senior cricket national team coach Joseph Angara was happy with the way the tournament went. Angara said the tournament showed growth of cricket in Botswana as the players showed that have character and direction throughout the tournament. The coach is happy with the continuity as some of the players were part of the U-13 teams the previous year. “The tournament went very well. The players showed a great deal of improvement and hunger to player cricket,” said the coach.
Angara believes that the introduction of the U-15 league will help keep the players active and give them a chance to further develop their skills. The coach is happy especially with the interest that has been shown by teachers in the game of cricket. He applauded the teachers for the good work they continue to do and urged them to carry on with the spirit. Even though he is happy with the way things are coming up with the development of the game in the country Angara however still got some worries. The coach said lack of facilities at the regions is a major problem to their efforts. “The only problem is lack of facilities at the regions. There are no proper structures like fields which make it difficult to achieve mandate at such places,” he said.