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The Hindu
The Hindu
Spoorthi Niranjan

Botswana national women’s cricket team to train in Bengaluru

Botswana’s national women’s cricket team, the Herons, is in Bengaluru for a two-week tour hosted by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). They will undergo intense training under level 2 & level 3 coaches at KSCA and will have the opportunity to interact with renowned former players. They will also be playing five matches with the Karnataka women’s teams. The tour was arranged through a bilateral collaboration between the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA), the Indian High Commission in Botswana, and KSCA.

Sumod Damodar, the vice chairman of BCA, told The Hindu that as KSCA had previously hosted the women’s team from Thailand, helping them raise the ranks of world cricket, he hopes the same for their team and called KSCA’s support a catalyst in their team’s imminent growth. The team, who recently began their training, are looking forward to playing the upcoming matches, especially since it will act as practice for the Africa qualifiers to be held in Botswana next month.

In an exclusive interview, the team’s captain, Laura Mophakedi, talked about the importance of the tour for their upcoming Africa qualifiers. With only five weeks left to prepare, she says the timing is perfect as they can freshly apply their learning from here. Stanley Timoni, the team’s coach, said that one of the main goals of the team is to achieve game intelligence and better analysis through the training sessions to conquer the World Cup qualifiers. The current women’s team is fairly new and consists of mostly younger players, picked from their under-19 team. But, both the captain and coach believe that they have made fast progress and will only continue on that path.

In response to being asked about the future of international women’s cricket, Mophakedi believes it’s looking positive since not only has there been growing viewership & broadcasting of women’s cricket but there is growth off-field as well with more women commentators and umpires, giving them a lot more opportunities and a better platform.

As it is their first time in India, the team is very excited to be here and have this opportunity, especially since they’ll also have the chance to watch the New Zealand v. Sri Lanka World Cup match, which the captain called a dream come true. BCA hopes to continue this bilateral relationship and also extend this opportunity to the country’s under-19 teams and men’s team.

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