Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) continues to push forward its mission of taking cricket to the people. The association kick-started the national U-13 league this weekend. Some 150 pupils will take part in the eight week-long encounter. Though it will only be played by those in the southern parts of the country, the league is expected to expand to the north. BCA Chief Executive Officer, Girish Ramakrishna, said the aim is to develop strong players from a young age. With a strong grassroots development, he said, the association will be able to develop a pool of players for the national teams. Ramakrishna believes the move will help Botswana to have strong teams in the future. According to him, this came about after the association assembled a group of 30 U-13 players to form the national team. In 2016, BCA embarked on a nationwide talent search for U-13 players where 30 top players were identified and put through a high performance camp to develop their skills. “After assembling these players we put them through a high performance camp. However, the need for game time for the players led to the association starting a league for them,” he said. Ramakrishna said the league is meant to give the players a platform to showcase and grow their talent. The league will involve teams from Gaborone, Thamaga, Ramotswa, Lobatse, Molepolole and Mochudi. It will be played in the round robin and 20 over format. All the games will be played at the BCA courts from 0800hrs to 1530hrs every Saturday. Ramakrishna said they want to strengthen their development structures in the country. “We want to see cricket played all over the country and place Botswana among top cricket countries in the world,” he said. The association is grateful to participating teams, teachers, volunteers and all stakeholders for their continued support. Ramakrishna said it would not be possible to achieve what they have already attained if it was not for the support they get from all that are involved. He called on private companies to come on board to boost the association as they need financial backing.