Play ball!

Kitso Ramono
PITCHING UP: Team BW

BW return to softball action with Men’s African WC Qualifiers

 

After a year without competitive action, the men’s national softball team return to the diamond this week, heading south as they look to pitch their way one step closer to the World Cup.

Botswana take on South Africa and Lesotho in the African Qualifiers, which will be fought out in Mokopane, Mzansi, from Thursday to Sunday (3 March).

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Two nations will make it through to the next round of qualifying, while the loser in Limpopo will leave with nothing.

Ranked 33rd in the world, BW will have to shake off the rust quickly, as they face a South African side that sit 16th in the current WBSC world rankings.

With Lesotho on the rise and rated just behind BW as the world’s 34th best team, it’s expected to be a straight shootout between ‘them and us’ for the second qualifying place.

The top two will advance to the WBSC World Cup Qualifier group stages, which involves three groups of six teams, with the action playing out in three different countries this July.

Canada’s Port Albert – the venue for next year’s WC in July – and the American city of Oklahoma City have been confirmed as two of the hosts, with a third still to be announced.

In a brief catch-up with Voice Entertainment, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) Spokesperson, Kelly Monyake, said the team were fit and raring to go.

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“The guys are ready to play ball. They have been in camp at Jwaneng since February 4th, thanks to Debswana, who has helped the team with all they need throughout training. Our mandate is clear: we must win both matches to advance to the next level of the qualifications,” she declared.

Considering the recent lack of action, both domestically and internationally, Head Coach, Tony Moyo was given the tricky task of selecting a 17-player squad.

“I had to use the few tournaments that we had hosted last year to select my team which was not enough. But I am optimistic that the players I selected will do the job. I trust that they will follow my instructions and everything I taught them for us to make it to the next round,” said Moyo, adding his players were all injury-free.

Held every two years, Botswana has only qualified for the World Cup once, in 2019, when they finished 14th out of 16 countries in the Czech Republic.

They will be hoping to pierce their way towards Port Albert this weekend!

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