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Opinion: On Namibia

Most of the time on this blog, I have given little attention to Namibia……. this is basically because I was biased against them…… my thinking was that they are another Zimbabwe in the making, because only the whites play the game over there. I wasnt sure whether they were doing anything to take the game to the colored population, because their U15, or U19 teams still showed only white players.

Today I revisited their website, which seems to update only once a year for some reason. I found the following paragraphs and I thought that since I always written only discouraging things about Namibia, this piece of information also needs to come on this blog. I was quite impressed with the future of the sport in that country. Though their standard is low, at least they are on the right track.

Exceprt from CricketNamibia.com
The mini-cricket program has been directed to schools where the majority of learners and teachers are of color. The extension of the program to orthodox cricket in the Oshana region, indicated that the program is successful in bringing through players of color. In fact, 14 of the 15 identified players, were players of color. It is expected that in other regions, similar or results very close to it will be achieved when the program is introduced during next year in that regions. The expansion of the program to the other regions will definitely increase the number of players of color within the next two years.

The challenge for the Board will however be to retain these players for the future. The only way to do it is by ensuring that proper leagues and tournaments in all the regions of the country and that strong regional leagues or tournaments are being played. Current statistics show that at least 6 of the regional teams created in terms of the program, will predominantly consist of players of color. At the same time the number of players of color in the other regional teams will increase. This was already proven at the u/13 national trails by the regional teams of the Karas and Erongo regions, which included more than 50% of players of color.

Transformation however extents further than just players of color. It also includes coaches and administrators. In this regard the Board has gone a long way. It is for this reason that the training of coaches and administrators have been receiving preference above the coaching of individual learners. Once again the challenge lies in bringing these coaches and administrators through to club and national level. This can only be achieved by appointing these coaches and administrators as coaches and managers of regional teams which in turn necessitates the proper identifying and training of the coaches and administrators. The members (club) also has a social responsibility to embrace these officials as they come through and to make them part of their clubs.

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Categories: Namibia
  1. Cuen Lucas
    September 1, 2006 at 8:09 am

    All the best to them, mainstreaming is probably the most difficult way to increase your player pool, and that’s the route that they took. It probably won’t bear fruit for a few years, but by the time it comes to the final qualifying tournament for the 2015 world cup, Namibia should be able to show
    some results for it’s hard work.

  2. farhan
    October 16, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    coming to Nambia case they won recent regional U 19 WC qualifier. looking at thier team I think still they have white palayers base in majority.comapring them to zim and you can say probably to south africa who got white palyers in majority at early stage of thier cricket, Both teams are now trying to change that concept, putting more balck players into thier teams though they have been criticized a lot due to that reason, I still think once NAMBIA would be stable team at world level they can too put up black population into thier team.

  3. Chris
    January 21, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Nasir, came across this recently and thought it was something you would agree with (not the title of the story but part of the content):

    http://content-wi.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/current/story/332465.html

    Basically, its an interview of the Chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket (Peter Chingoka) and in it he says two things that were really interesting for associate cricket (emphasis added):

    “…..We do need some additional resources. By that I mean possibly bringing in one or two players from outside Zimbabwe to play so that it helps younger players. Kenya playing last year [in the Logan Cup] was useful. Also, we could look at Namibia taking part and helping us as much as helping themselves as well. We are also playing the South African competition…..”

    and

    “….By doing so the game will get stronger. By doing so we are true to the vision and mission of the ICC which talks about the globalisation of the game and is not in the business of shrinking the game. It means we have an opportunity of ensuring that Africa becomes the next growth centre … for other countries in Africa to come through and play Test cricket, countries like Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, and I could name a couple more….”

    We all may not agree with him broadly (and his management of ZC is highly questionable), but I for one can agree that Namibia playing in both South Africa’s and Zimbabwe’s domestic structure should help Namibia’s development. It was also interesting to see that at least one full member country (well, sort of) is at least talking about other neighbouring countries stepping up to the test level.

    Having neighbouring countries play in the domestic setup of Test countries seems like a good development scheme to me. Perhaps they shouldn’t play in the premier competitions initially (as I imagine that any Papuan team or Fijian team would fare badly against the likes of New South Wales and Queensland), but at the very least they could play against second XIs (and in the case of England and Australia against non first-class areas such as the minor counties, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory). That way teams like Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Denmark, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, Afghanistan, Namibia, Kenya, (all of which have played or were due to play in a domestic competition of a Test team), Nepal, Belize, Suriname, Bhutan, Maldives, Uganda, Tanzania, France, Belgium, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Botswana, Zambia, UAE, Oman, Indonesia and Malaysia (and Canada and Argentina if it isn’t too expensive for them) could all benefit in some way and improve their standards. Just by doing that about 30 teams would be exposed to more cricket without too much expense (in comparison to having say Ireland touring the Test teams or having associates fly around the world for the Intercontinental Cup). Then of course if any of those teams actually become Test teams in the future, they could do the same and incorporate neighbouring associates and affiliates in their domestic structure (or even if they don’t become Test teams, their standards might improve enough that they could benefit neigbouring affiliates by incorporating them in their associate domestic structure).

  4. January 21, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I think we have already discussed the buddy system for the associates as a possible way up sometime before on this blog.

    I would like to point out that it IS expensive, even to have say, Namibia, participating in South African franchise cricket. It is also expensive in their participating in the SAA provincial cup, and I am not sure if SA, or Namibia or ICC are bearing those costs. But players have to take time off, travel, board, eat, train etc. So it is by no means a low cost.

    Chingoka has refered to Kenyan Select XI team as if it was the Kenyan full team. It wasnt, and that is pretty much why it didnt do as well as it was expected. I think that Namibia might be too strong for an individual Zim province, especially since now there are 10 and not the original 4 that used to be in the pre exodus period.

    We did see however, that in the SAA provincial cup, Zim XI easily beat a fairly full strength Namibia team.

    So who knows …..

  5. Chris
    January 21, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I was thinking about travelling expenses (in terms of Namibia travelling to South Africa as against Namibia travelling to the UAE), but you’re right. Whatever savings would have been made in terms of travel costs would be eaten up by the extended time needed for boarding as well as by food and training. Overall though, I think it would still be worth the costs (at least moreso than travelling somewhere farther to play only a couple matches).

    I didn’t quite get the logic (if there is any) behind the move to have 10 provincial associations instead of 4. If the 4+2 system wasn’t really working, why would adding 4 more associations work? But whatever the reason, if Zimbabwe do invite Namibia (and not a Namibian Select XI) and also invite Kenya (as opposed to Kenya Select XI) then there might be enough challenge for Namibia and Kenya to gain some experience (and it might help Namibia in the SA domestic setup).

  6. January 22, 2008 at 11:17 am

    The logic behind the new provinces was to (allegedly) install people on to the Zimbabwe Cricket board who would support the current regime.

  7. Tom Lewis
    January 23, 2008 at 2:19 am

    Namibia have attracted substantial sponsorship from MTC in order to enable them to play in South Africa. In relation to their match against Zimbabwe Provinces by all accounts it was a very poor performance, that was put down to poo shot selection by the batsmen in Namibia’s first innings. There were positives however as there are a number of talented young namibian players coming through now, with Dawid Botha making his maiden first class century.

  8. Fumbaloney, Melbourne Australia
    January 23, 2008 at 5:45 am

    I think it would be most appropriate if Namibia, UAE & Uganda replace Netherlands, Bermuda & Canada as ODI status nations in the world cup qualifier next year. I say this b/c (apart from Bermuda which is a genuine cricket nation, but is too small to be a key player in world cricket long term) Netherlands & Canada are not genuine cricket nations in a mainsteam sense whereas presently, potentially & long term Namibia, UAE & Uganda are (so are Nepal , Afghanistan & Malaysia).

  9. Chris
    January 23, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I partially agree with you Fumbaloney, I would think it appropriate if Namibia got ODI status after the next world cup qualifier…and I too think Bermuda’s population is too small to sustain it as a key player in the long term (just look at countries like Uruguay and Fiji when it comes to other sports like Football and Rugby – they were really good and still are good but have declined and they have far more people than Bermuda). However, I wouldn’t necessarily want to see the Dutch or Canadians replaced. Cricket may not be their major sport, but they do have a long history of it and their players and fans do try to sustain it (even if it appears at times as though they are not trying to increase its appeal). If the Dutch or Canadians managed to convincingly beat one of the more established sides (like England or Pakistan – shades of the Irish), that would make news and at least increase awareness of the game in those countries and maybe increase understanding and appeal. But it might be good to see what other teams have to offer with ODI status if given the chance and the UAE would at least be able to offer some good facilities and Uganda gaining ODI status would be good for Kenya (then they could play more regular ODIs and other teams might be convinced to incorporate Eastern Africa in their schedule if they make tours of Zimbabwe and/or South Africa). Both of them might also offer more competitiveness than Bermuda and maybe also Canada and the Netherlands. In the long term I would personally love to see the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Canada, Cuba (they are really good at baseball….), Argentina, Kenya, Uganda (or East Africa if they ever do federate as they have talked about), Namibia, the UAE, Nepal, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga (whether separately or together – all up to them) being full members. With 26 to 29 full members then maybe the current members might decide to scale back the amount of cricket they play (which is now becoming a bit dull with the same set of teams always playing each other frequently) and the World Cup, Champions Trophy, and World Twenty20 would become much more interesting. It would also allow for true regional championships (which could be the qualifier for the Champions Trophy) with championships in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

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