Photo Credit: Cricket Namibia
Cricket Namibia, the governing body for cricket in Namibia, is delighted to announce that it has been awarded three prestigious accolades by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Cricket Namibia and the country have been recognised for outstanding contributions and achievements in various categories; The ICC Development Initiative of the Year, ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year, and Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year.
ICC Development Initiative of the Year:
Cricket Namibia’s Ashburton Mini Cricket development program, established in 2009, has played a pivotal role in creating awareness of cricket among all communities. With the primary goal to inspire the Namibian child, the program has witnessed tremendous growth, reaching more than 100,000 children in all fourteen (14) Regions of Namibia, during 2022. The initiative has successfully introduced cricket to schools in less advantaged communities and fostered inclusivity within the sport. Through festivals and modified matches, Cricket Namibia has nurtured talented youngsters, some of whom have gone on to represent senior national teams.
Jona Ambuga, who heads the development program welcomed the news with pride.
“Winning this shows that we are doing what we promised to do, which is to take cricket to the Namibian child. Our success is based on the efforts of the teachers, development coaches, and the sponsors Asburton (through the FNB Foundation),” he said.
ICC Associate Member Men’s Performance of the Year:
The National Men’s cricket team, known as the Richelieu Eagles, achieved remarkable success in 2022. Their journey began with Series wins against Uganda, Jersey, Hong Kong, and USA.
Another notable achievement came in a historic victory against a Full Member nation, Zimbabwe, in a 5-match T20 series played on the opponent’s home ground. To top it off, the Richelieu Eagles managed to cause one of the biggest upsets of the ICC T20 World Cup by beating Sri Lanka by 55 runs on the opening day in Australia. This extraordinary triumph defied expectations and showcased the capabilities of Associate Member teams on the international stage.
Richelieu Eagles Captain Gerhard Erasmus says:
“It really is a fairy-tale story for Namibian cricket to have beaten the previous T20 World Champions. Yes, it was the perfect performance on the day. Built on a strong culture and a group of individuals consistently aspiring to be better,” the captain noted.
Cricket 4 Good Social Impact Initiative of the Year:
Cricket Namibia’s commitment to social impact and community engagement is epitomised by its Cricket 4 Good campaign. As part of this initiative, Cricket Namibia hosted the #Pledge4Pink campaign, aimed at supporting the Cancer Association of Namibia. Through a series of events and activities, Cricket Namibia raised awareness and funds for the cancer community. The campaign gathered significant support from corporate entities and individuals, resulting in a substantial donation to assist cancer patients.
The #Pledge4Pink campaign, through various platforms, managed to create widespread awareness about the cause. Natalia Nauyoma, marketing head of Cricket Namibia, who also headed the initiative was extremely proud of the recognition the initiative received.
“We are happy that the #Pledge4Pink campaign and the efforts of the Cancer Association of Namibia are having a positive impact on cancer in the country,” she said. She also thanked MTC Windhoek Fashion Week, APS, Pupkewitz Motors, Richelieu and Future Media for agreeing to combine their brands to fight for a good cause.
President of Cricket Namibia Board, Dr. Rudie Van Vuuren, was more than pleased with the announcement. “When I received the message from the ICC that for the second consecutive year, we will be receiving three awards at the ICC Conference. I was totally stunned. “I want to thank my fellow board members for the hard work and dedication behind the scenes. I want to thank and recognise our CEO, Johan Muller and his team, for the hard work they have put in. I also want to thank and recognise our Head Coach of the senior men’s team, Pierre de Bruyn.
It is truly amazing when you receive these awards in front of 108 Member Countries and be recognised by the ICC,” he said.
Cricket Namibia Chief Executive Officer Johan Muller highlighted that receiving these awards are both a humbling and magnificent experience.
“The company is extremely proud and in the same sense extremely humbled to be the winners of three categories on a global level. There are so many entities that we need to give credit to. The national men’s coach and the players, who performed exceptionally well in that match against Sri Lanka. They made the entire country proud. All the corporate partners that supports the team; Thank you! Without your support, we would not have been able to perform at such a stage. Also to all the fans and supporters, every Namibian, who shouted for us during the World Cup. Your support was felt all the way to Australia,”
Muller also reiterated the impact of the Development Program which won this Award for the second year in a row. “Credit must go to Jona Ambuga as coordinator of this program. All the teachers, coaches and volunteers who ensure that we have a continuous impact on the lives of the Namibian child. We served more than 100,000 kids last year. That means one out of every five children in primary schools had access to cricket. Our partner: Ashburton, through the FNB Foundation, has supported this program for many years. Their funding and continuous support are the reason we can facilitate cricket in all fourteen (14) Regions of Namibia,” Muller continued.
Cricket Namibia would like to thank the unwavering support of the ICC Africa office. Patricia Kambarami and her team, deserves the credit for these Awards.