Botswana Cricket Association

BCA – A case for development

BCA Developments

The year 2007 marked a new beginning in the history of Botswana Cricket Association ( BCA). BCA embarked on a grassoot development programme in February 2007 focussing on government primary school children. It was a humble start with 4 schools and 300 children in and around Gaborone- the capital city of Botswana. There were initial challenges as cricket was a new sport and not many played this game. However with Botswana Primary Schools Association ( BOPSA) giving its formal acceptance to the introduction of the game , the support began to grow steadily.

BCA was keen to dispel the perception prevailing among the people that cricket was an elite sport and not accessible to the vast majority of citizens in the country. Initially the senior national team too comprised of players from the expatriate population. The other motivation for BCA was to build adequate structures at various age groups in the country be it under 11, under 13, under 15 or under 17 age group. The primary objective was to enable the kids to play an alternative sport and enjoy it too.

Slowly and steadily the game of cricket began to gain foothold in the primary schools. There were annual competitions in the various age groups and this comprised of only citizen children. We also saw the game moving from Gaborone to the various villages in the country. The kids took a liking to this sport as they began to enjoy this game. BCA organised a Saturday clinic at the BCA ovals from 9 am to 12 pm open to all kids in the various age groups. They were closely supervised by the coaches and this proved to be a source for identifying talent. There was food organised for all the kids participating in this Saturday clinic along with a soft drink. There was a spurt in the enthusiasm levels as kids came forward to play this game.

The talented kids were then given additional training to further their skills to prepare them to participate for various competitions. There were tours organised to Easterns Cricket festival in south Africa, Falcons cricket festival in Zimbabwe. There was increased enthusiasm among the kids therby increasing the number of kids playing cricket.

In 2009 there was a conscious effort to have a separate structure for girls cricket. In June 2009 BCA organised a separate league for girls under 13. There were 8 schools that participated in a round robin format. The results were quite encouraging as we had a good talent base of girls playing cricket. There were intensive training sessions organised for girls and they were getting ready to play competitive cricket.

BCA  organised a four nation girls tournament featuring Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana in August 2010. The Botswana girls u/19 squad emerged runners up in the tournament. There were some practice games organised with the ladies team from Zimbabwe and two girls featured in the elite training academy organised by Africa Cricket Association.

Botswana played for the first time in an under 19 girls tournament  in December 2011 organised by Africa Cricket Association featuring Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Botswana.  Botswana emerged runners up in this tournament boosting the confidence and morale of the players. The girls team  continued to perform well and they emerged runners up in December 2012.  The confidence levels and the morale of the girls have risen considerably from the early days where they were beginning to learn the game of cricket.

Today cricket has a foothold in many villages in Botswana namely Ramotswa, Mochudi, Moshupa, Lobatse, Francistown, Ghanzi, Maun,Phikwe, Kanye to name a few.  The number of schools enrolled in our development programme is 150 and the number of children playing cricket has risen to 8559 as at December 2012.

BCA has also embarked on various other skills development programme for the teachers and volunteers. There are various courses run for umpiring, apart from the basic and advanced orientation programmes. There are other administrative courses on topics like governance, finance, meetings, community cricket etc. BCA also conducts courses on drug awareness & HIV Aids awareness programmes to assist the teachers to disseminate the information to children and the community.

BCA is working towards its vision of “ Bringing Cricket to the Nation”. It is a challenging task but with the support of all stakeholders , the future is bright and positive.

BCA Scoring Application