The latest in a long list of recent reforms in Namibian cricket is the announcements of various changes to the women’s game. With the previous reporting of Cricket Namibia’s admittance that female cricket was not given the attention it deserves within the country; the CEO of the association Johan Muller, during the same interview, has released exciting news which could create a new era of women’s cricket within the country.
Muller, while talking to NBC, first stated that the appointment of a new head coach and having the budget of women’s cricket become better aligned with the needs of development will have a positive change on its development. These changes should allow for female cricketers to be given better and more opportunities to engage with cricket and play the sport.
Further to this, it was announced during the interview that the first-ever women’s league was being set up in the country. The tournament will be a 6-aside tournament, which is aimed at increasing the number of teams who are able to participate. The 6-aside format allows those who may not be part of a formally organised cricket club within the country to set up a team to compete in the tournament, all in an effort to be inclusive as possible.
While the team’s appearance at the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier came fortuitously after Zimbabwe were removed from the tournament on account of the administration being suspended by the ICC, it must not be forgotten that the young Namibian side had gone through their group matches of the African qualifier undefeated, besting Uganda, Kenya and Sierra Leone, before losing to Zimbabwe in the winner-takes-all final.
The experience gained from the global qualifier will only help them in their goal to further develop the talent amongst a growing playing base, and it is not an unrealistic goal for Namibia to set their sights on establishing themselves as Africa’s strongest women’s team in the not-too-distant future.
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