When Terry Fraenkel and fellow cricket lovers initiated the Lesotho Cricket Association from nothing four years ago, cricket was played solely by expatriates.
Slowly the LCA is making progress with increasing the level of Basutho participation to the point where two players made on merit the ill-fated national first XI which was to play in next month's Africa Cricket Association Cup in Nairobi. (The LCA was advised by the government's Sports Council that the required Rand250,000 could be better utilised on development - a decision Terry heartily agrees with). Another two Besuthos were members of the training squad. The number of Besuthos in the national squad has gradually increased with the first chosen in 1997, and two in 1998 before the four chosen last year.
Terry says the two players chosen for the ACA Cup have great promise.
"Teboho Mojalu is a 19-year-old quickie who saw a game and came up to us and said 'are you guys are playing cricket. Where do you learn?' In a practice match for the Africa Cup in Namibia he took three wickets in eight overs and would have got another two lbw's except for the umpire."
The other Besutho is Selly Makakole, a 16-year-old leg spinner who also bats at number five.
There are three clubs in Lesotho - Maseru CC, Leribe CC and the Asians CC, who all usually play their matches against opposition from clubs across the border in South Africa.
The LCA uses one concrete pitch with synthetic matting, made possible by the International Cricket Council development programme. Two more are in construction at schools.
Cricket is played in seven schools in Lesotho - Machabeng College, Masianokeng School, Maseru Preparatory School and SOS Childrens Village (all in the capital, Maseru), Hlotse and Assumption High Schools (Northern District) and Mamahau High School (Central District). Terry says three more schools want to affiliate but the LCA does not have the finance or manpower.
An inter-district competition was inaugurated this season, with Northern District annihilating the opposition.
Funding remains a chronic problem for the LCA affecting hoth the development programme and the international team's appearances.
Most funding for the national team goes towards appearances at the biennial Africa Cup. However, four years Lesotho played a two-day game against Swaziland which ended in a draw.
The LCA would love to receive visiting teams and can be contacted on: +266-313914 (p)
PO Box 964