The bid for Botswana U-19 cricket to qualify for the 2018 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup has failed dismally. This comes after the team displayed a not so good performance at the ICC Africa U-19 World Cup qualifiers held in Nairobi Kenya. By Friday afternoon Team Botswana laid at the bottom of the log with no points after losing all five games they played. Botswana was in tussle for the only spot available to qualifier for the World Cup in 2018 against Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. Botswana Cricket association CEO Girish Ramakrishna could not hide his disappointment at how the team fared. Ramakrishna, however, pointed out that the reason the team did not do well was that they have lost four of their trusted players before they left. “We lost four players who pulled out at the last minute because of examinations at school,” he said. The CEO said he believed that if they had all the players the team would have done better than it did. He, however, also acknowledged that their opponents were tough, singling out Kenya and Uganda as great teams with a very good cricket history spanning over 100 years.
The ICC Africa U-19 World Cup qualifiers were played in a two- legged format for all the teams to find the ultimate winner. The local team took on Uganda in the first game and lost by 183 runs. In the second game Botswana faced power house Kenya and the latter won by 7 wickets with 130 balls remaining. Botswana’s woes continued when they played Ghana in the third match. Ghana won the match with a convincing 6 wickets with 146 balls remaining. In the second round Uganda continued where they left beating Botswana by 247 runs. Kenya also came back the second time to get a 198 runs win over Botswana. Despite the dismal results, Ramakrishna believes that this was a learning curve for the local players. He said playing at this level gave the players exposure to learn a thing or two as well as gauge themselves against tough countries. It is now time for Botswana to go back to the drawing board to prepare for the next edition. Ramakrishna said it is the association’s desire to see the boys playing at the World Cup at some stage.