Delays in completing the National Diamond has forced the Botswana Softball Association (BSA) to reschedule fixtures as the venue is not ready.
Floodlights are being installed at the pitch, but the BSA has been forced to give the contractor more time as they did not complete work on time.
BSA competitions organiser, Renny Molete said the contractor should have completed work before the start of the 2015/2016 season. Softball action started last weekend with games played at the University of Botswana instead.
Molete said despite the delays, league games started and other venues are being used while waiting for the completion of the project.
“We are going to have matches at night because during the day, temperatures are high and that affect players,” he said. “We also expect to see more spectators attending games due to night games.”
Molete said the current season is expected to be exciting due to the increase of the second prize money and also the return of Scramblers. The prize money for the team that finishes second was increased from P50, 000 to P70, 000. Debutants Ghetto Yankees of Francistown and Maun Deltas are out to prove themselves.
Meanwhile, the matches continue on Saturday in Orapa for the northern zone. The first match is between Carats and Rebels (women) followed by Rail Giants against Deltas (women). Rebels will lock horns with Scramblers (men) and Carats face a stiff battle with Giants (men). On Sunday, Rebels march into the pitch to face Deltas and the next game will be between Scramblers and Carats (men). Scramblers women then play against Carats. Giants face off against Rebels and the last match of the weekend will be between Carats and Deltas.
The southern zone matches for men will be played in Lobatse on Saturday. BMC welcomes Stingers with BMC playing Blue Angels in the next match. Stingers will entertain Blue Angels in the last match of the day. On Sunday, the matches would be held at the University of Botswana pitches. UB Giants welcome Gideons while Panthers women face off against Vikings.
Deltas coach, Kesaobaka Mpofu told Mmegi Sport yesterday that they are ready to make their league debut. He said the team was established last year and they are in the league to compete not to add numbers. He said the team has experienced players and they have played various tournaments in which they did well. “We might be new in the league, but the experience that we have would carry us through. Our intention is to pick points in all the games. We want to sustain our team and become a force to reckon with in future,” Mpofu said. He said the main challenge they foresee is travelling costs. Mpofu said unlike other teams, they have to travel more than 200km for every game. He said they depend on well-wishers for assistance because softball sponsorship does not include grants for teams. He said they have brought up the matter before with the BSA and remain hopeful that they would consider it in future.