Zealand Takes Over As Cricket Namibia CEO

Dr Donovan Zealand has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of Cricket Namibia, replacing Graham Macmillan, who left in June.

Since then Laurie Pieters has been running the affairs of Cricket Namibia as the interim administrator, but now Zealand will take over on a full time basis when his contract begins on 1 September.

Dr Zealand is a highly qualified sport administrator and holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Education, as well as a PhD in Education, which he obtained from the University of Stellenbosch in 2005.

Dr Zealand has served and been involved in sport management, administration and leadership roles in Namibia since 1989, and has been lecturing at the University of Namibia for more than 10 years.

He said it was a massive challenge that he was looking forward to.

“It’s a massive challenge and opportunity for me to take cricket to the next level – my main aim will be to help Namibia qualify for the 2019 World Cup and to improve the overall development of cricket in Namibia. Development is about taking the sport to the people. It won’t be easy and it will be a long process and we can’t expect results in one, two or three years.

“But we must put a process in place to take the game to marginalised communities all over Namibia and to build capacity in Cricket Namibia where we need skilful people to develop the game. We also want communities to take ownership as well,” he said.

Zealand has been a notable critic of Cricket Namibia in the past, especially in terms of its slow pace of transformation, but said he decided to get involved to try and find a solution.

“I got to the point where I either needed to get involved or sit on the sidelines and criticise and complain in terms of making a difference. It was a massive decision for me because I had a bright future in the academic world ahead of me, but no one has shown initiative in terms of taking the sport forward so I hope to do that,” he said.

Dr Zealand said that sport had to be run on a professional basis.

“Today sport is a professional, full time business and one cannot participate at an amateur level anymore. One must run sport as a profitable business that can be sustainable in the long run, one just needs to put the structures in place,” he said.

Dr Zealand said that quotas in cricket were not the answer to meaningful transformation.

“I have a big concern with how people see transformation. Quotas will never be the answer, but if we provide opportunities and put an all-encompassing development programme into place there wont be a need for quotas. This has never been addressed at a national level and now sport codes have to deal with this problem.

We need to take sport to the people – the playing field must be level and we must provide the necessary infrastructure for communities to participate meaningfully,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cricket Namibia also announced the panel of national selectors which will be headed by former national captain Deon Kotze. The rest of the panel consists of Jeff Luck, Dee Thakur, John Heynes and national coach Doug Watson.

Source : The Namibian