The Under-19 boys cricket team has started preparations for the 50 overs World Cup qualifiers that start in Tanzania next month.
Botswana will face three associate countries in order to qualify for the international tournament.
The countries are Namibia, Uganda and the hosts Tanzania on a date yet to be announced.
Coach Obert Musiyamhanje told Mmegi Sport during a training session at Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) Oval that he was optimistic about the team’s chances.
He expects the team to qualify for the finals to be held in Bangladesh next year.
Musiyamhanje said he is working on strengthening weaknesses, mostly batting techniques.
“We want to also teach them how a batsman should approach a ball in different forms,” he said.
BCA development coach, Reginald Nehonde assists Musiyamhanje as a batting specialist.
He said the team is impressive in the fielding department, but they are also looking at making it more solid, including the fitness standards.
The team has a training schedule where they focus on different departments of the game on certain days. Due to the school calendar the training session is held between 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm during weekdays, since the majority of players are students.
Musiyamhanje said the team benefitted from participating at the Mini World Cup and playing visiting Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) last year.
“Most of my boys are part of the senior team and they also play in the national league,” he said.
The team has hard-hitting batsmen Rashaad Mosweu, Thatayaone Tshose and Mmoloki Mooketsi who are capped at senior level.
Musiyamhanje said five players have been promoted into the Under 19 team from the Under 12 side, while three are now over age and have moved on.
Some of the new players are Gape Mere, Boago Baipisi, Tumisang Nshomane and Thabang Kainos. The squad will be trimmed to 12 from the 24 in camp.
There are two camps, one for the south and another in the north (Francistown).
In his (Musiyamhanje) absence Clement Chipanga coaches the team in Francistown, while Nehonde looks after the one in Gaborone when the coach has travelled up north. The team will play a friendly match on January 31 against a Zimbabwe side selected from players based in Botswana.