Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) is currently on a mission to raise Cricket awareness through orientation and coaching courses targeting students, teachers, volunteers and the general public at large.
Speaking at a two-day orientation course for students from Oodi Applied College of Arts and Technology at the BCA Oval, Coach Joseph Angara said even though cricket is steadily growing it is still a foreign game to Botswana hence the need for more sensitisation.
Angara said their main aim is to spread the game throughout the entire country and achieve the Botswana Cricket Association’s number one call of bringing cricket closer to the nation. Thus far, Angara said they have been receiving a positive response and he is hopeful that with time the club will surely reach the desired standard.
However, he noted that one major setback, the BCA is currently facing is unavailability of proper facilities. “Cricket needs a flat surface where the ball can be able to bounce off the ground, there is also the equipment which is very expensive.” He also expressed concern over participants who attend courses, return home and decide to sit on the knowledge acquired, describing it as a drawback in the efforts and inroads made by the BCA.
Angara stressed that Cricket is a very interesting and exciting game that mostly requires coordination and communication from team players. Another cricket expert Coach Reginald Nehondo shed light on what Cricket really is. “This is a game played by two teams, each having eleven players. The game is played in a large oval consisting of a rectangular pitch in the middle and three poles (wickets) at each end.”
The teams are split into two, the one hitting the ball and trying to make runs (batsman) and the one catching the ball and hindering the batsman from scoring runs (fielders). He explained that the teamwhich is batting sends two representatives to the field and they each stand in front of the wickets, after hitting the ball they make runs between the wickets until the ball is back to base.
Nehondo noted that in batting getting the basics is very essential to be able to hit the ball effectively. “One has to make sure that they hold the bat in a “V” manner and position their shoulder with their knees apart for balance before they can hit the ball.”
Once a batter is out, the next batter gets the opportunity to bat and the cycle continues until there are no more batters left from the team. He said a batter could score runs in three ways, running in between the wickets or hitting the ball over the boundaries.A ball that crosses the boundary but has hit the ground first counts as four runs while the one crossing the boundary without touching the ground counts for six runs. The fielders spread evenly all over the oval, this includes the person pitching the ball (bowler) and the one standing behind the wickets and the batsman (wicket keeper).