Botswana’s women’s national cricket team has secured their spot in the next qualification round for the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, despite a hard-fought loss to Kenya in the finals of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup Division 1 Africa Qualifier.
The event spanned from September 1 to 9, 2023, at the Botswana Cricket Association (BCA) Oval in Gaborone.
Loss to Kenya
Botswana faced Kenya in the final, where they succumbed to a 9-wicket defeat. However, the consolation for both teams was that they qualified for Division One of the tournament. Botswana had a challenging journey to the finals. They lost to Kenya by 111 runs in their initial encounter but rebounded with impressive victories. They dominated Lesotho with a staggering 173-run win and edged past Malawi by 5 runs in subsequent matches.
In the semi-finals, Botswana faced Sierra Leone and prevailed with a 17-run victory, setting up a final showdown with Kenya, where they ultimately fell short.
“Qualifying topped our agenda”
BCA Vice Chairman, Sumod Damodar, expressed their initial goal and determination, stating: “To be absolutely honest, at the beginning when we found out that we were going to host the competition, our aim was to finish in the top two. We knew that by finishing in the top two, we would qualify for the next round of the qualifiers. However, that does not mean we did not want to win the competition. Qualifying topped our agenda, and we are elated that we achieved it.”
Solid training plan
Looking ahead, Damodar shared that Head Coach Stanley Timoni has devised a comprehensive training program in preparation for the Division One qualifiers. “There is a lot of work to be done now that we have qualified,” Damodar said. “But we have trust in our coach to set a solid training plan. The coach has now given the players a week’s break; after that, we’re back on.”
The 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier served as a pivotal cricket tournament within the qualification process for the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. The tournament began with Division Two, which recently concluded in Botswana. The top two teams from Division Two will advance to Division One, set to take place in Uganda in December 2023. The top two teams from Division One will then proceed to the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier.