Photo Credit: Cricket Namibia
2021 Has been a rollercoaster year. 2022 holds another exciting year for cricket as Cricket Namibia will be hosting eight International Tournaments, while our Capricorn Eagles prepare for a European tour and our Men’s Eagles for another T20 World Cup.
2022 kicked off with Cricket Namibia’s prestigious event, the 2020/21 Cricket Annual Awards on the 29th of January. This is an event set to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work and achievements of the cricket players, teams, officials and administrators in the country. The event was well attended by Cricket Namibia stakeholders, which included the Minister of Sports, Youth and National Services, Hon. Agnes Tjongarero, the Namibian Sports Commission, the Cricket Namibia Board of Directors and partners.
The Capricorn girl’s program didn’t go unnoticed at the Awards being one of the programs that has immensely improved over a short period. Among the Capricorn Eagles that have received awards was Victoria Hamunyela from Walvis Bay who scooped the most awards in the team and was named National Team’s Player’s Player of the Year and Best Bowler of the Year. Former Captain of the Capricorn Eagles, Yasmeen Khan’s hard work was also recognised as she was named the 2021 Batter of the Year and recently got a contract to play in the Fairbreak 2022 competition. The Capricorn Eagles program is one that Cricket Namibia is proud of its growth and development.
The Men’s team, the Eagles had an amazing journey thus far, and the nation can only be proud of the team. The Eagles vice captain, JJ Smit, a local hero for many of the younger cricketers, received the most Awards and was named; Player’s Player of the Year, National Men’s Player of the Year, National Men’s 50 Over Player of the Year, and the National Men’s T20 Player of the Year. Smit’s world-class performances over the years, including at the T20 World Cup caught the attention of many as he was nominated and made it as a candidate on the Indian Premier League Auction list.
Ashburton Mini Cricket – Coaches Workshop
Cricket Namibia recently held a coaching workshop in Windhoek on the 28th and 29th of January 2022 which was conducted by Cricket Namibia Mini Cricket Coordinator Jona Ambuga, Cricket Namibia CEO Johan Muller and Women’s Coach Francois van der Merwe. The coaching clinic was attended by mini cricket coaches from different towns in Namibia. The workshop included on strategies of ways to improve cricket, played at schools, and how to equip teachers to coach the game. This also served as a feedback platform for Cricket Namibia on ways the organisation can best assist the schools and communities to have an active Ashburton cricket program.
Junior Club Cricket:
Cricket Namibia u11 and u13 T20 Junior Club League games commenced on the 18th of February until the 25th of March at Doc Jubber field with 9 teams participating in the league. The u11 teams consists of WHSOBCC, United, CCD, Wanderers and a new junior club added to the league is the Naankuse u11 team. The u13 league games will be played on various venues with four teams; United, CCD, Wanderers and WHSOBCC.
Cricket Namibia launched a new high-performance program structure. The national men’s team involvement in the high-performance program enforces the ‘Eagles Culture’ that has been built and created over the last three years. The Eagles are an inspiration to the young cricketer and it is important that the Eagles’ culture is taught, practiced and lived by the players in the Cricket Namibia pipeline. The new structure allows the U19 Coach to have a bigger pool of players to select from to represent the country towards the end of the year. The HP players train twice a week whereby the U16 group is led by Tangeni Lungameni as the lead coach and the U19 group led by the Eagles captain Gerhard Erasmus.
Cricket Namibia called upon the expertise of International curator Bryan Bloy from SuperSport Park. The course and practical sessions have provided school representatives, club members and Cricket Namibia staff the opportunity to learn and grow their skills. The curators “groundsman-ship” course was hosted in Windhoek on the 21st – 23rd February and in the Coast on the 24th and 25th of February whereby basic principal of grass management was among the topics covered in the course.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
Gobabis is set to host a Sixes tournament on the 26th February 2022 in celebration of Gobabis Gymnasium 21 Year Festival where eight teams will be participating. This 75 minute long games that will be played at the Festival is aimed to give every player an opportunity to bat and bowl and will be an exciting way to play cricket.
Ashburton Mini Cricket:
The Ashburton Mini Cricket is the foundation for all cricketers and the mission is to grow the game by taking cricket to our local communities. The program is looking forward to recruiting more cricket coaches, hosting more cricket festivals in the country, and visiting and introducing the game to more community members in Namibia.
The Premier League 50 Over semi-finals is scheduled to be played the last weekend of February on Saturday and Sunday. Trustco United and Wanderers are set to clash on the Saturday 26th of February 09h30 at Wanderers field, and CCD and WHSOBCC will play their semi final match at WHS at 09h30 on Sunday. The 2nd Division T20 semi finals between Outjo 2 and CCD3 was played on the 19th of February which led to CCD3 winning the final match, while Pro-Ed Old Boys club is at the top of the log table with 16 points in the Coastal 40 Overs 2021/22.
Richelieu T20 Franchise:
Cricket Namibia is scheduled to host the biggest form of club cricket, the Richelieu Franchise competition that will be played over two weekends in March at Trustco United field starting on the 18th – 20th of March and the final games to be played on the 26th and 27th of March 2022. The 2022 competition is a battle against defending champions, BA Blasting, King Price Kings, XCO/MM Signs and MR247 Namspire.
Benchmarking in South Africa:
Benchmarking, upskilling and capacity building are some of the factors taken serious in Cricket Namibia to become more efficient and better sport administrators. The International Cricket Council is hosting a 11-day long capacity building program in South Africa, CN’s Finance & Admin Manager and Marketing Manager will be part of the sessions to benchmark and learn from the best high profile and successful cricket administrators.
Capricorn Eagles Tournaments:
The Capricorn Eagles will be having a busy 2022 calendar than usual with some inbound tours and away tour to Holland. The Women’s side are excited to host Zimbabwe and Uganda, from the 19th of April. The team is scheduled to travel to the Netherlands on the 25th of June until the 1st of July 2022, while the Capricorn Eagles await confirmation from Germany for a possible 3 T20 Internationals.
Welcoming Ireland Wolves:
Cricket Namibia is scheduled to host Ireland Wolves to play against the Namibian A team starting on the 30th of March until the 5th of April 2022. The inbound tour against Ireland Wolves is one that Cricket Namibia is looking forward to, this will be a great platform to give fresh players more game opportunity. The National Head Coach Pierre De Bruyn’s focus is to have a good balance for the Namibian team with some new talent, and ensuring the National players are placed in the right positions on a rotation basis. Both T20 and 50 Over formats will be played and De Bruyn is looking forward to exploring more with the selection process to give youngsters and non-contract players an opportunity.