Cricket Namibia wins top international gong
28 July 2020 | Sports
Cricket Namibia (CN) has been awarded the International Cricket Council Associate Member Men's Performance Team of the Year award following a successful 2019 season, which saw the national team qualify for the 2020 T20 finals for the first time.
Namibia's national cricket team, also known as the Eagles, also attained One Day Internationals (ODI) status following a comprehensive victory over Hong Kong in Windhoek last year.
The association's CEO Johan Muller said this is a wonderful milestone for the country and paid tribute to the Eagles' players and technical team, saying their hard work paid off.
“The qualification means we can now have 17 players on full-time contracts and through this, we are the only sporting code in Namibia that has turned full-time professional. This also means that high-quality cricket will now be played on home soil, increasing the exposure of the game,” Muller said.
He also paid tribute to the board, whom he said had worked very hard to clear the association's debt. This means there is now more money for the development of players, umpires and administrators.
Hard work pays off
CN president Rudie van Vuuren said the association's patience and planning created a culture of working as a team.
“The highlight for us was one common goal to qualify for the ODI status and we reached that goal. After achieving that, qualifying for the T20 World Cup was the cherry on the cake,” Van Vuuren said.
He said achieving ODI status will help improve the game in Namibia as the players will be facing quality opposition every time they step on the field, while opening doors for the players to play on the international stage.
CN will now also receive more funding for development.
Better and better
“This means we can now put more money into cricket and this will see our team getting better and better. We will also improve the ladies' game, who have also been silently excelling in their own right,” he added.
Van Vuuren further urged the team to continue playing well, while ruing the postponed T20 finals following the Covid-19 global outbreak.
Ninety-two teams were competing for the same award as Namibia.