Momentum Cricket Festival Launched (allAfrica.com)

The biggest cricket school festival in Namibia, the Momentum Cricket Festival kicked off in Windhoek on Wednesday for the third consecutive year, with six Namibian teams participating in this year’s tournament.

The competing teams are the defending champions Windhoek Gymnasium, Windhoek High School, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool (WAP), Junior Coastal Cricket School (JCCI) from Walvis Bay, Pro-Ed Academy from Swakopmund and a countryside team, including players from places such as Grootfontein, Outjo, Gobabis, Otjiwarongo, Mariental and Stampriet.

WHS won the inaugural tournament in 2013 when they beat Windhoek Gymnasium in the final, but the tables were turned last year when Windhoek Gymnasium beat WHS by 38 runs in the final.

Last year’s tournament also saw Botswana’s Under 19 team making its debut, but they will not be back this year, according to Cricket Namibia’s development manager Steven Berry.

“Botswana competed here last year, but now there is so much interest locally that we couldn’t fit them in again. This year, for instance, we will have two teams from the coast for the first time as well as a countryside team,” he said.

Some of Namibia’s top young players who have gone on to represent the national team have competed in the tournament like Gerhard Erasmus, JJ Smit, Zane Green, SJ Lofty Eaton and Michau du Preez and according to Berry it offers a great opportunity to the players.

“This competition is very important for the development of the game and it gives a chance to players from all over to make a name for themselves,” he said.

The CEO of Momentum Namibia, Etienne Brits said they were proud to be sponsoring the cricket festival and making a contribution to developing the youth in Namibia.

“Not only is Momentum sponsoring the Cricket Festival, but we also sponsor schools rugby, soccer and cricket leagues, which form part of our commitment towards developing the youth in Namibia,” he said.

Britz said that schools cricket has excelled in Namibia over the past few years under the guidance of Namibia Cricket CEO Dr Donovan Zealand, and he hoped the tournament would help develop future national players.

“Cricket is one of the best organised sport codes in Namibia and we are proud to be associated with this exciting game. We believe that a lot of young players participating this week will go on to represent the senior national side in years to come,” he said.

The president of Cricket Namibia, Richard Frankle thanked Momentum for its sponsorship, saying it played a big role in the upliftment of sport in Namibia.

“Thanks Momentum – you have shown commitment to schools sport in Namibia and sport is now starting to reap the benefits. The quality of players representing Namibia has improved every year,” he said.

The tournament started on Wednesday afternoon and will continue through till Sunday when the finals and the positional play-offs take place. Play will commence at 09h00 each morning at the following venues: WHS, WAP, United and CCD fields.