It came over the radio, much to the disappointment of the team.
“Play has been suspended due to irrevocable interference on the field”.
We were on a game drive vehicle spilling with Selinda Reserve’s finest 12 -well only 12 footballers. Some had football boots, some one boot one shoe, one with one boot no shoes and the proud goalie Dollar without any shoes. It would be the game of champions, sponsored by the local contractors and to feature in the Ngami times that weekend (Northern Botswana’s local rag).
This day, the infamous Duba Plains were to take on Selinda Reserve on their own turf. Well turf would not be the best description, more like cleared bush scrub with two Mopane logs dug in at either end to represent goals. But despite this, for any good match day it is traditionally quite important to have a pitch inspection on the day, and that where we were headed.
We take you back to the previous evening as we watched the sun set at Selinda Camp. We listened to the unmistakable roaring of a large male Lion, marking his territory in the south. This could be heard maybe 4 or 5 miles away. It would just happen that Stade de Selinda can also be found in that direction and distance. To the back of our minds we put that nagging thought “what if”.
So to the big day, match day, Sharon our concession manager let us know that there were an awful lot of vultures flying around CSU, or concession headquarters. She joked, maybe the big game will have some spectators this year. This was no joking matter to the football squad though, we pushed the revs and got closer to the towering column of circling vultures. It was the stench that hits us first and then the shock of seeing a Lion kill, a young giraffe on the sideline of the pitch. Two of the big Selinda Pride males and 3 females had front seat tickets, and snacks, ready for the game. We tried to tell them that they had the wrong tickets but funnily enough, they weren’t going to budge. Panic! We mused at dragging the kill away but we had no volunteers up and coming, despite the boasts of KT being the fastest runner. We had to admit defeat:
Postponed until February 2014.