Botswana schoolchildren hungry for cricket
The number of participants in Botswana's youth development programme has swelled dramatically from 300 children to almost 1300 in under six months, and shows no signs of abating.
Seven more schools have joined the initiative which has been sponsored by the ICC and the African Cricket Council (ACC) to promote the game to a wider, younger audience. Such is the enthusiasm that a league has been set-up for government primary schools.
"We are about to commence the league Oct 3," Girish Ramakrishna, Botswana's development manager, told Cricinfo. "There are five schools participating in a contest lasting the entire month. This is the first time in the history of Botswana cricket that a separate league has been [set-up] for government-educated kids.
"The kids are quite enthusiastic and we expect a good response from the sports council and the media. To make it more interesting we are giving prizes for every game, for the best batsman, bowler and fielder. With 20 schools already in the development phase encompassing 1300 kids, the future looks quite encouraging."
Botswana have been an Associate member of the ICC since 2005.
Will Luke is a staff writer on Cricinfo