DESPITE the challenges brought about by Covid-19, Cricket Namibia rose to the challenge and completed one of its most successful years, with glowing reports at its recent annual general meeting.
According to a press release issued by Cricket Namibia on Friday, a ‘positive mindset and optimistic planning were key elements to ensure, not only the completion of the 2019/2020 club season, but to also run full cricket programs.’
The CEO of CN, Johan Muller said they had focussed on capacity building during this time, which led to international awards.
“During the lockdown in 2020 we shifted our focus to upskilling and capacity building where nine administrative staff completed 27 online courses and seven players conducted online courses, while we trained 281 coaches and adapted a digital coaching high-performance program,” he said.
“The administrative office implemented a hybrid office environment to allow flexibility to staff, while monitoring performance on a digital platform. We are happy that these initiatives ensured that Cricket Namibia received recognition as regional winners as the Best ICC Initiative in 2020,” he added.
Muller said the recent year’s highlights were the higher operational level of administration, building relationships with all stakeholders, the increase in youth participation and the growth of commercial partnerships.
“We completed both the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 club seasons, introduced new school tournaments in the form of National APS Sixes, the National Week as well as a junior club structure. Our Ashburton mini-cricket program increased from 26 000 to 40 000 players and our girls and women’s programs took shape,” he added.
Cricket Namibia managed to get the national men and women’s teams back onto the playing field at the recently held Kwibuka tournament and the impressive inbound Eagles tours against Uganda and the Emerging Proteas. “The award of ICC Men’s Performance of the Year was a highlight, while the digital campaign around this award also made Cricket Namibia Regional winners and a shortlisted candidate for the ICC Fan Engagement of the Year Award,” Muller said.
The press release states that the establishment of various subcommittees was key for the inclusivity and efficiency of CN programs, while CN now has sub-committees for scorers, umpires, women, schools, coaches and veterans cricket.
Muller thanked CN’s partners and sponsors for their support and commitment during a difficult economic period.
“These partnerships allowed us to create new opportunities to serve our stakeholders better,” he said.
A CN infrastructure development plan has led to new turf pitches at United, CCD, the Oval, Walvis Bay Private High School and Swakopmund, while additional pitches are being planned for Outjo and Gobabis. New cricket nets at the Kuisebmund training centre and at the national nets also ensured improvement of CN’s development programs.
Muller said the national men’s squad had embarked on an intense skills development, conditioning and personal development program, while their hard work was evident in the great performances against Uganda and the Emerging Proteas.
He added that they were now looking forward to upcoming series’ against Zimbabwe A, Titans and Knights in August and September 2021, before they head off to Dubai and Oman for the T20 World Cup.
Muller said women and girls’ cricket had grown from strength to strength during 2021, with the Capricorn Eagles making it to the final of the Kwibuka Tournament where they lost to Kenya, while Sune Wittmann was the tournament’s leading run scorer, and Victoria Hamunyela the top wicket taker.
The president of CN, Dr Rudie van Vuuren concluded his report by mentioning some of their highlights.
“In May 2021 CN CEO Johan Muller made a presentation to the ICC Global hour on fan engagement and high-performance strategies. This presentation was so well received that Cricket Australia was interested to use it as a case study for good corporate governance, which is an incredible feather in the cap of CN,” he said.
“Cricket Namibia extends a special word of thanks and appreciation to our CEO. He has brought a new dimension to the management of cricket affairs and has taken us to the next level,” he added.