Thursday, April 18, 2013

ICC Pepsi WCL Tournament - Botswana 2013

International Cricket Match Referee Devdas Govindjee, who is the official travel correspondent for this blog, was in Botswana at the beginning of this month to officiate games for the ICC Pepsi World Cricket League Tournament. The tournament commenced on the 6th of April and continued up until April 13th with teams from Vanuatu, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria and the host country Botswana participating in the event. I would like to thank Devdas for sending me an update on the events that have occurred in that part of the world during the tournament. It is always such a delight reading his emails. Take note that this update was sent to me on April 13th, the final day of the tournament.

After almost 2 weeks of enjoying wonderful sunshine and hospitality, the final day arrives and with it comes much needed rain ( for the country but not for the cricketers!).

Rain greeted us at both venues- in Lobatsi there was overnight rain and it continued this morning whereas here in Gaberone the early morning rain has persisted resulting in the match being stopped after a few overs- the weather now seems to be clearing so it will probably mean teams taking the field shortly.

Just thought I should update you- this week has gone by with us being consumed by invitations to suppers and functions and it has all been most wonderful- so much so that not one evening was left for individual free time- tonight being the final awards evening at the hotel. The officials and the community here have been so generous in their warm hospitality that it has been an experience totally unique for me.

During the week we managed to visit a nature reserve on our free day and then had an invite to the home of the Ambassador of Germany who invited the German team and tournament officials for a reception- was really lovely relaxed around the pool of her home.

Also had an invite from the Botswana Cricket Association who took us out to dinner at Rodizios- a Brazilian restaurant.

Then the supporters of Botswana cricket invited us to the cricket club for a Biryani evening and finally last night the ICC tournament director invited us out and we went to Cappucinos which is a lovely Italian restaurant at the Airport Junction Mall.

At least on the Tuesday free day I was taken to a Balaji Temple- a totally new experience for me as well and then managed to visit a few places to get my usual souvenirs and fridge magnets! (Ok there is not much place left on the fridge!!!)

Tomorrow I leave for Johannesburg- My other half is already there spending two days with the kids- we then leave tomorrow for Windhoek for the 2 ODI's (One day internationals) between Holland and Namibia to be played in the week.

We shall return home towards the end of the month and I really do hope for a long break before my next cricket appointment- thanks for just being there with me during this trip again and it is always nice to be followed and my pleasure to provide updates and insights of places I am privileged to be in as part of my cricket duties.

Until I get back to PE I shall not promise any updates but facebook postings should continue as per usual.

Take lots of care always

Best wishes

Dev

The very impressive Lobatse Sports complex with the Soccer Stadium as the main feature is alongside the cricket ground. — at Gaberone & Lobatse.

The poolside area at the very spacious Gaberone Sun — at Gaberone & Lobatse.

Hosts - The Botswana Cricket Team at the official opening ceremony

The ICC Flag and the flags of the participating countries flutter in the gentle breeze as Traditional dancers perform on the BCA oval during the welcome function

Adekunie Adegbola (Nigeria) and Josefa Rika (Fiji) exchange gifts at the toss on Day 1 of the ICC Pepsi World Cricket League Div 7 tournament. This match was played at the BCA No.1 Oval in Gaberone.

A closer look at the Man of the match award for each game during the tournament.

These locals opted to cheer for the colourful Vanuatu team at the BCA 2 Oval.

Nice pic of the coin toss!

Vanuatu batting against Germany at the BCA 2 Oval.

For his 3/22 and 82 runs Vanuatu's Nalin Nipiko was presented with the MoM award by ICC's Development and Event's manager Edward Fitzgibbon.

Enjoyed a 2 hour game drive at the Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Gaberone. — at Mokolodi Game Reserve.

Snack time- these vegetarians are really not fussy! — at Mokolodi Game Reserve.

Ah! got you! He or she?> — at Mokolodi Game Reserve.

The impressive Balaji Temple in Gaberone- paid my first ever visit to a Balaji temple.

Another view of the Balaji Temple- must confess that I know very little of the way in which devotees practice this form of Hinduism,

The home of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Annett Gunther. Welcome reception for the German team and match officials

Enjoying the company of a very friendly and articulate ambassador

The tournament referee asked to pose with the winning team, Nigeria - proud moment for all.

The manager of the Botswana Cricket team Faz Sheriff giving me a token of appreciation.

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