Exciting Cricket Season Ahead

Namibian cricket is set for an exciting season which gets underway in September with the inaugural African Super Sixes competition in South Africa.

The tournament, which was introduced by the African Cricket Association to provide more matches for African nations, will take place at Centurion Park in Pretoria on 6 and 7 September and will be televised live on SuperSport.

The tournament will provide g competition for Namibia, with the other competing nations being Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and a South African Invitation team.

The Super Sixes tournament will be followed by a 50-over competition between the same sides at the same venue.

The most important competition for Namibia’s immediate cricket future, though, is the ICC World League Division 2 which takes place in January next year, when Namibia will compete against Holland, Kenya, Canada and two teams that will be promoted from the ICC Division 3.

The top two teams at the Division 2 tournament will qualify for next year’s ICC Intercontinental Cup competition against established Division 1 nations like Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and the UAE.

Namibia has applied to the ICC to host the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament, with an ICC team arriving in Windhoek in August for an inspection tour before they make a decision.

The president of Cricket Namibia, Richard Frankle said they hoped to do well in the Super Sixes competition, but that the Division 2 tournament was the most important.

“The Super Sixes tournament will be at the start of our season, but we definitely have the talent to perform at that level. But our main focus will be on the ICC Division 2 qualifying competition in January next year which we hope to host in Windhoek,” he said.

“This is an extremely important tournament because the top two teams will qualify for the ICC Intercontinental Cup,” he added.

Frankle said Namibia would once again also compete in the Cricket South Africa series, with 10 matches lined up for the upcoming season.

The fixtures have already been released, with Namibia due to play five matches before the end of the year and five matches next year.

Namibia’s first three matches are all at home, against Western Province on 9-11 October, Eastern Province on 16 -18 October and North West on 23-25 October.

The local Namibian cricket league competitions will start on 20 September. These include the Premier League, the First and Second Division and a Coastal League.

Meanwhile, Cricket Namibia held a strategic planning workshop last weekend to set out its plans for the next few years, and Frankle was excited by the outcome.

“We had a planning session over the weekend where we set out our goals for the next five years. All the clubs and stakeholders were invited, and we had about 30 people in attendance at the workshop,” he said.

A panel of selectors was also selected, which will be headed by former national captain Deon Kotze, while the national squad will be announced shortly.

A new chief executive officer will also be announced in September to take over from Laurie Pieters, who is currently acting as Cricket Namibia’s interim administrator.

“We aim to run cricket in a professional manner and like a business, from the top down to schools level. We plan to put cricket on the map, and with the changes coming up in Namibian cricket, I am sure we will bring more sponsors on board,” Frankle said.

Source : The Namibian