Tournament is in honour of late BBA President
The Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) have given Botswana Bowling Association (BBA) the thumbs up to host the Peter Richards Pairs tourney which is billed for 29th-30th July in Francistown.
This tournament dates back to 1994, when it was first launched in Francistown while it was still trading under the name Botswana Invitations Pairs. Participating nations were South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia and Malawi. The event was later renamed the Peter Richards Invitation Pairs, in honour of former BBA founding President Peter Richards.
BBA Public Relations Officer John Gaborutwe told Gazette Sport that the tournament was meant to help in the development of young players, as they would pair up with seasoned bowlers.
“The tournament is a brainchild of the late Peter Richards, a past President of the Association (he held office for seven years and later served as vice President. He was also a member of the Botswana National Olympic Committee board in its infancy stage),” Gaborutwe told a brief history of the tournament.
“The intention of the tournament is development, with a season bowler an up and coming young bowler, to give the latter a bit of international experience. It has been a stepping stone for many for several bowlers who have went on to represent their countries, and several of those are still doing so (playing),” he added.
He explained that they attempted to host the tournament in other countries, but the idea failed, before Botswana decided to take it back.
“It was very successfully run for many years in Francistown, and only once held in Gaborone, then returned to Francistown before being placed on the international circuit and renamed to Peter Richards Pair at the request of the general assembly of the Confederation in Francistown,” continued the PRO.
“Regrettably, the hosting by other countries failed and the association took back control of the event as a matter of respect and honour of the inaugurator,” he further said.
Quizzed on the financial challenges of hosting the event, he revealed that they did not have any sponsors, but the competition was run from the association’s finances.
In closing he said that Kenya declined the invitation while Namibia and Zimbabwe are expected to turn up for the tournament.
Namibia are defending champions in the men’s category, Botswana are still the reigning champions in the women’s side.