After holding development programmes for primary schools in and around Gaborone for about a year, Botswana have now selected a development squad.

The team is seen as a future strong national team for the country. According to the Botswana Cricket Association's development officer, Girish Ramakrishna, the squad is made up of 30 promising players that would eventually be trimmed to the normal number of 12.

“Imagine, from all the schools we had more than 800 kids who were provided with cricket skills almost every Saturday,” he told the Sunday Standard. “Now we selected thirty kids that are seen to be having a lot of potential for the sport. The kids will be equipped with the necessary specialized skills every week to prepare them for tough international competitions. We are optimistic that these kids will make a strong team.”

Ramakrishna also noted that those who don’t make it to the final 12 will be monitored regularly so that the talent does not go to waste.

The development programme started by Ramakrishna for public primary schools was the first of its kind in Botswana but managed to attract many schoolchildren. Most kids will soon be heading to junior secondary schools that do not have cricket. It is something of concern to Ramakrishna but he said they will always try something just like they did with the primary schools.

“It is a challenge but we will make efforts for the sport to reach junior secondary schools,” he said. “We are planning to offer many coaching courses for teachers and, in that way, things can be better. If all the support and aspirations we got from primary school teachers can be the case with junior secondary ones, I am optimistic this country can achieve something.”

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo