sports

Oct. 13, 2021

TEBOHO JAFETA

3 min read

Cricket team mandated to triumph in Rwanda

Cricket team mandated to triumph in Rwanda

The national Cricket team before it left for Rwanda

Story highlights

  • Squad to face one of its old adversaries at tourney
  • Winners to finally meet top cricketing nations at World Cup

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THE national men’s cricket team manager, Bongane Mosiuoa has promised nothing but hard work and commitment at the 2021 International Cricket Council (ICC) Men's T20 World Cup Africa Sub-Regional Qualifier tournament set for October 14-23 in Rwanda where the squad will be competing.

He made the pledge on Tuesday afternoon during the team’s send-off ceremony held in Maseru.

“We are going to Rwanda to work hard. We faced one of the teams in our group before and defeated it, so there is clearly going to be war where we are going.

“The Lesotho Cricket Association (LCA) has mandated us to reach the next stage of the competition, which is what we are planning to do,” Mosiuoa said.

The team began its preparations in December last year with a provisional squad of 22 men which was later cut down to 16 men including 14 players and two officials, the coach and the team manager.

“We played six friendly matches locally, winning four and losing two. We also played three games in the Free State province, South Africa where we won two and lost one. Due to COVID-19, we could not play many games abroad. We were supposed to compete in a tournament in Bloemfontein against VKB Nights club but the competition was postponed to February and later rescheduled to October,” he said. 

When selecting the team, Mosiuoa said they considered four aspects including performance, the ICC criteria, availability of the player and his discipline.

He noted that the team was mentored by six coaches from the preparations stage up to the final selection process.

Team head coach, Theko Mahloane said his charges are ready to battle it out in Rwanda, promising to bring the glory home.

Sharing similar sentiments was LCA President, Mohlouoa Sepolo who ordered the team to go and make the country proud in Rwanda.

“As you venture out, beware that you are not going for a honeymoon, but you are going to war. Remember you are representing both the LCA and Lesotho as a country. Therefore go and make us proud, you are our flag bearers. Be aggressive and I hope that you bring the trophy home. As you go out there, we are not expecting anything but victory. I am confident because for the first time in my experience, we have a team surrounded by many competent coaches during the preparations stage.

“You have been mentored by several coaches hence you possess quality skills to go and overcome your opponents. We will give you a heroes’ welcome when you return home with the trophy,” Sepolo said, wishing the squad the best of luck.   

For his part, LCA Media Liaison Officer, Clifford Molefe said the trip is fully sponsored by the ICC with the LCA only responsible for dinner costs for the team during its stay in Rwanda.

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The tournament consists of two groups and Lesotho are in Group A alongside hosts Rwanda together with Malawi, Seychelles, Uganda, Ghana and Eswatini while Botswana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Mozambique, Saint Helena and Sierra Leone are in Group B. 

The Group B tournament commences on October 31 until November 8. Two top teams from each group will proceed to the Africa Regional Final to compete against Kenya and Nigeria on November 21 still in Rwanda.

The leading teams from these groups will compete globally where they will meet top cricketing nations like India and Pakistan among others.

The national Squad:

Patel Samir Abdul Saeed, Patel Sarfaraj Abdul Hamid,  Tlali Chachole Frank, Khan Mohammad Maaz, Omar Hussain, Thamae Thamae, Leporoporo Mthimkhulu, Monanthane Lefulere, Chaoana Tepiso David, Jakida Yakda Yahya Yakub Mahmad, Patele Ayaj Ashraf, Leoela Mohleki Ellias, Letsitsa Tšeliso, Matsau Molai Joseph.

Bongane Solomon Mosiuoa– Team Manager

Theko Cletus Mahloane – Head Coach

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