Botswana is interested in hosting two international tournaments in the second half of 2021, and has been asked to submit two bid documents, due to COVID-19 uncertainties.
The Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) will submit two different bids; one with COVID-19 protocols and the other, without. The bids relate to the Under-19 boys Africa qualifiers, expected to be held in October next year and the T20 women’s Africa qualifiers, scheduled for December 2021.
The two tournaments were scheduled to be held this year, but could not proceed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, world cricket body, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has requested that interested countries submit two bids.
“The reason for the two bids, is that, as we speak right now, we have no certainty or method of knowing what lies ahead. The idea was mooted that whenever we do the bids, everyone for any reason; this was discussed with the ICC, that we submit two bids. One is under normal circumstances and the other under the new normal. Obviously, the costs will differ vastly as under the normal situation, they are normal. But under the new normal, the cost will be substantial, may be 30 percent more,” BCA fixtures and publicity secretary, Sumod Damodar said.
If the COVID-19 situation persists, teams would be expected to undergo mandatory testing and quarantine upon arrival.
The boys’ tournament would feature five nations, while the women’s, would have 10.
The women would play the shortest format of the game, the T20, while the boys would be involved in the 50 over game.
Botswana has been a constant venue for international cricket, hosting the ICC divisional tournaments twice in the last decade.
The senior men’s team went agonizingly close to qualifying for the final rounds of the T20 World Cup qualifiers, after a sensational victory over Namibia two years ago.
International cricket returned earlier than most sports, when England hosted the West Indies in June.
Locally, the BCA is adopting a cautious approach to return to action as COVID-19 cases surge.
‘We are considering having some event, but well within the COVID-19 protocols. We have to be constantly wary of the daily situation and the recent spike. We are looking at the possibility but we are extra cautious of how we proceed. We have to make every effort to ensure we play our part and everything is done within the national protocols,” Damodar said.