By Jejje Muhinde;
Laura Mophakedi will captain the 15-member Botswana squad during the Kwibuka T20 Tournament, the Botswana Cricket Association has announced.
Mophakedi replaces Goabilwe Matome, who will not be part of the squad, as the skipper when the team jets in Kigali.
Matome is also one of the most experienced players in Botswana and is their fourth-leading run-getter.
Botswana last played a bilateral series at home against Kenya in 2019, going down 4-1 in the seven-match series with two washed out matches.
Other players Banyana Gaanamong and Mimmie Ramafifi, who were part of the team then, also will miss out.
Tebogo Motlhabaphuti, Collin Mokibelo, Jacqueline Kgang and Tebagano Ditshotlo have received their maiden call-ups to the national side.
Mophakedi heads the run-charts for Botswana and she will be assisted by Florence Samanyka, who is the vice-captain as well as the second-leading run-getter.
They could also feel the absence of Ramafifi, who has ten T20I wickets for them, the second-most after Botsogo Mpedi’s 16. Mpedi is the only player to pick a five-wicket haul for Botswana in T20Is.
Sumod Damodar, Secretary of the Botswana Cricket Association said the team has been training for quite a while, even playing a few intra-squad matches in preparation for the tournament.
Damodar believes the tournament is a much-needed experience for the women’s team given that they are due to host the International Cricket Council African Qualifiers as a pathway for the world cup.
“This opportunity will give the team a chance to play in a completely new environment, new grounds, new people and new exposure to new places which will prepare them better when we host 11 teams in September,” he added.
Botswana will face Uganda on June 7 in their first clash in the Kwibuka T20 Tournament, which is a competition to pay homage to the genocide victims of 1994. The competition starts from June 6 with the final to be played on June 12.
Squad: Laura Mophakedi (c), Florence Samanyika (vc), Shameelah Mosweu, Botho Freeman, Jacqueline Kgang, Amantle Mokgotlhe, Tebogo Motlhabaphuti, Botsogo Mpedi, Bontle Mademabe (wk), Tuelo Shadrack, Onneile Keitsemang, Precious Modimo, Collin Mokibelo, Thapelo Modise, Tebagano Ditshotlo