Botswana cricket team to compete in Uganda

Gaborone, Feb 21 (IANS) Botswana's cricket national team will depart for Uganda Thursday to compete in the International Cricket Council (ICC) - Africa Cricket Association (ACA) Twenty 20 Division One tournament that starts Sunday.

The team had been engaged in intense preparations under the tutelage of coach Arjun Menon. They leave for Uganda with high expectations from local cricket fans following their good run in the last two years, reports Xinhua.

They will, however, face tough opposition from Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and the hosts Uganda. Of the four teams, Kenya poses the biggest threat and start as favourites to occupy first position. The East Africans have been to the 50-over World Cup but have seen their fortunes dwindle over the years, which should give their opponents belief.

A spot in the penultimate round of the World Cup qualifiers awaits the teams, which finish in the top two positions after the round-robin tournament. It has already been a fairy tale run for Botswana and Menon has every reason to be optimistic.

Addressing the media prior to the team's departure Wednesday, coach Arjun Menon said he is has a very ambitious side that is eager to perform well.

"I am going with a young squad hoping to go to the next stage. This could be Botswana's golden generation. I believe the team will go places," Menon said.

The team will be pinning its hopes on Captain Karabo who has put some match-winning performances over the past 18 months. The national team has been preparing for the tournament through a mini cricket league that came to an end last weekend.

Botswana opens their account against a tricky Tanzania side Sunday in the first game of the tournament.

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