THE senior men’s national cricket team coach, Theko Mahloane, has finalised his squad for the upcoming 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Sub-Regional Africa Qualifiers.
The qualifiers are slated for 15 to 24 November 2022 in Rwanda.
From a provisional squad of 30 players, Mahloane has trimmed his team to 16 players who will travel to Rwanda.
Only three of the 16 players are based outside the country.
All three are based in South Africa. They are Jayant Vijayakumar (Payans 8), Arbaaz Khan (Extreme IX) and Mohammad Khan (Mega-Meisters).
From the team that represented the country in last year’s world cup qualifier, Mahloane has included six new faces. These are Vijayakumar, Arbaaz, Faizal Kader, Lebona Leokaoke, Mpiti Lerotoli and Waseem Yaqoob.
Speaking to the Sunday Express this weekend, Mahloane said the squad was already preparing.
“We have finalised our team of 16 players and the coaches are hard at work preparing it,” Mahloane said.
“We are meeting on weekends, but we are planning to have a one-week final camp in Free State before our departure. That will help us fine tune our preparations. We are forced being forced to play in South Africa because we don’t have facilities in the country.”
Rwanda is hosting the qualifiers for the second time in a row after hosting it last year.
Lesotho is hoping to improve its performance after being named the worst team in the competition for losing all its games last year.
The team finished 17th at the bottom of Group A of the sub-regional qualifiers with no points.
But Mahloane is confident that the side’s performance will improve this year.
“So far, the team is promising and I think this time around we will perform well. The players we brought into the team, especially the ones from South Africa, are good and they are used to playing on turf.
“The experience gathered last year will also be an added advantage for our team,” Mahloane said.
Lesotho will battle it out against Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Rwanda, St Helena and Seychelles.
The top two teams will progress to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa regional qualifiers. The final will produce two teams to represent Africa at the World Cup 2024 in United States and West Indies.