Frankle Takes Over the Cricket Baton

Richard Frankle was presented as Cricket Namibia’s new president at its awards ceremony on Saturday evening, while Christie Viljoen was named cricketer of the year.

Along with Frankle, CN elected a new board consisting of Peter Davidson, Andre Snyman, Polly Negongo and Franklin Greene, while one position is still vacant.

All-rounder Viljoen shone with both bat and ball and was a leading member of the team in all formats of the game.

Viljoen beat all-rounder Nicholas Scholtz and bowler Louis Klazinga to the award.

Numerous other awards were presented, with Franklin Greene winning the U19 Player of the Year award, JJ Smit the Patron’s Award and Jonah Ambuga the Patron’s Award.

The outgoing president, Francois Erasmus said it had been a privilege and honour to be Cricket Namibia’s president since 2003, adding that he had worked with passionate and committed people.

Erasmus acknowledged that his ideals had not been met, but foresaw a good future for cricket in Namibia.

“We had big ideals and I never found a lack of commitment and passion, from the players and the management. We always gave our all, but somehow we could not transcend that commitment and passion onto the playing field, but I’m sure this will change,” he said.

“To the new president, it will be a great challenge to turn that around, but I’m confident you will, because of the exposure our youngsters have received and we will see that in the coming two years,” he added.

Erasmus said one of the main challenges would be to retain Namibia’s top junior players.

“The challenge will be to retain the youngsters, whom we have invested a lot of money in, only to lose them to universities or jobs. I was privileged to see our U19 side at the U19 World Cup in Dubai and the aim must now be to retain at least 75 percent of that squad for the next six years, to make them the nucleus of the national side, but it will be a challenge. In the past, we very rarely retained 30 percent at club level,” he said.

“To Richard, well done to you and the new board. I’m very happy to hand the baton over to you and you’ve got good board members as well. I think the future of cricket in Namibia is bright. I’m still passionate about cricket and will be for years to come,” he added.

Erasmus handed the President’s Award, which is done at his discretion to Jonah Ambuga, who, amongst others, is spearheading CN’s development drive in the north of Namibia.

“He’s a guy who came on the scene and went about his job in an efficient, kind and helpful manner. He was responsible for a big turnaround and did a major job in transforming cricket in the north. Now we have about 18 000 kids who have come through over the past three years,” Erasmus said.

Erasmus also thanked CN’s CEO, Graham McMillan, who’s three-year term has come to an end.

“I’ve worked closely with Graham and it’s been a pleasure. He brought good skills to the office and we just heard from the auditors that our matters are in order.

Graham did his work well and the new CEO will find a set-up that’s in order,” he said.

Frankle, a former national hockey player and committee member, said that Erasmus had left ‘an absolute legacy’ for cricket in Namibia.

“You dedicated your time to a sport that did not pay you a cent, thank’s so much. But I know you are still in Windhoek and will be available if and when I need you,” he said.

Frankle was excited about the future and looking forward to working with the new board members.

“We’re about to embark on a new trip that I’m really looking forward to and I’m looking forward to working with the new board. There is no doubt in my mind that Cricket Namibia has made huge strides in transformation and it warms my heart to see so many black recipients of awards tonight as well.”

“I’m passionate about Namibia, our cricket and youth and I’ll carry it forward onto the cricket field. I call on all administrators, clubs and coaches to work hard to put cricket where it belongs. I’m looking for hard work and dedication,” he concluded.

Source : The Namibian