National cricket team acting coach, Joseph Angara believes Botswana will stage a good fight in the Pepsi ICC Africa Championships in South Africa this weekend.
Botswana play five T20 matches against Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania including a one 50 over duel against Ghana.The top two teams in the T20 tourney will make it to the next round of the qualifiers and the winner of the 50 over match will go through to Division Six.
Before the Botswana team’s departure, Angara, a former Kenya medium pace bowler was optimistic of doing well in South Africa. The coach, who has been in charge for nearly month, said the team did well in build up matches in South Africa last week.
During the tour, Botswana won a 50 over match by five wickets and lost the T20 tie by three wickets against a select side.
“We are expecting victory from this South Africa tour. Every team is going there with the aim of winning, but due to the hard work of the team, I am sure that we will win even though T20s are unpredictable,” he said. Angara stated that the tourney is important to Botswana because it is the gate pass to Division Six. The coach said he is mainly focused on working on the team’s fitness and fielding. “The team’s strength is mainly fielding and they are 70 percent fit,” he explained. The team has a mixture of young and experienced players such as Thatayaone Tshose, Dhruv Maisuria and Zain Abbassi. Angara said the mixture is meant to groom new blood for the future.
After the tour, the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) will decide whether to give the Kenyan the job on a fulltime basis. The coach played 17 ODI matches and participated in two World Cups for Kenya in 1999 and 2003.
Sumod Damodar, BCA fixtures and publicity secretary said Angara was called to assist after the association failed to find a replacement for Arjun Menon, who left two years ago. “We had to call Angara to be an acting coach for the tournament,” he said. BCA and the Botswana National Sports Council are funding the team’s trip to South Africa.
The team has: Karabo Modise, Karabo Motlhanka, Waseem Tajbhay, Thatayaone Tshose, Russel Withey, Omar Ali, Gaolape Mokokwe, Adithiya Rangaswamy, Sooraj Kollery, James Moses, Reginald Nehonde, Zain Abbassi, Dhruv Maisuria and Nabil Master