Cyril Panda, National Cricket Coach, said Preparation had started few months back with a premier league and super league which were organized by the technical team of the Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA).
“The leagues served as a yard stick of selecting players for the national team which was properly executed by us, as the right Cricketers were selected to represent the country in South Africa,’’ Panda said.
He said out of 18 players selected only 14 are traveling to South Africa. He said the four remaining players would continue with training and join the team when they returned from South Africa to take part in the North/West African Cricket Council (NWACC) competition in Nigeria.
Serry Turay, head coach of the national male cricket team, said he was very much impressed with the cricketers’ batting skills, despite previous challenges created by, among others, lack of batsman. Turay said with the performance of the current team he was certain that they would put out a good performance in international competitions.
“These crops of cricketers will deliver well for the country in international competitions because their mental strength towards the Game has proven positive in training,” he said.
He appeal to the ministry of Sports to support the cricket association financially, noting: “Cricket has brought more Laurels than football over the past years but they give less attention to it [Cricket].”
Trevor Samura, Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Cricket Association, said the tournament will be an eye opener for the national team as they will have an international exposure.
“It is an opportunity for them to go and showcase their talents and win the championship which is our aim,” Samura said.
He added that despite the fact that cricket was not the most popular sport in the country, “we remain as one of the sporting associations that bring trophies for this country.”
According to Samura, the ministry of Sports was yet to approve their budget. He said however that they were hopeful that the ministry would approve their budget before they departed for South Africa this Thursday.