CRICKET IN NAMIBIA
After their independence as a sovereign state in early 1990, Namibia became the 19th Associate Member of the ICC in 1992, though when looking back at the history of cricket on now-Namibian land, there is evidence of the game being played as far back as World War I. Under German reign, several clubs were formed during the period, with matches played in the Okahandja POW camp. Proof of social cricket in Walvis Bay dates back to 1919, though the earliest record of organised matches took place in 1929, after a meeting at the Metoploe Hotel in Windhoek led to the creation of the first official league. Cricket continued under South African administration, with the South West Africa Cricket Union established in 1954. The South West Africa team travelled outside the borders for the first time in 1956, playing Liesbeck Park in Cape Town. Since then, and even after independence, Namibia’s close ties to South Africa have continued to forge opportunities to develop cricket over the years, with teams representing Namibia in South African competition from U11s to senior level. The senior team featured in South African provincial cricket as recently as 2018. Namibia’s men’s national team created history in 2001, finishing second in the Super League phase of the ICC Trophy, earning qualification for the 2003 World Cup, an achievement all the more remarkable considering the team started the tournament in its second tier. The team were unable to win at the World Cup, though had England in a spot of bother during their encounter in Port Elizabeth. Namibia’s re-emergence as an Associate force today is a clear indication of the influence the 2003 World Cup side had over the country. Winning World Cricket League 2 and re-claiming ODI status in 2019, the subsequent ICC funding has opened up opportunities across men’s and women’s cricket, with a pool of full-time players and staff across men’s and women’s programmes. Junior and club cricket through league and school programmes are especially prevalent in the central and eastern regions of the country.
First men’s international match: as South-West Africa: vs. Netherlands, Windhoek, 1978 (Tour Match) as Namibia: vs. Malawi, Windhoek, 1991 (Zone Six African Championships) Major international victories: vs. Netherlands, Toronto (Ross Lord Park), 2001 (ICC Trophy) vs. Scotland, Toronto (Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club), 2001 (ICC Trophy) vs. Hong Kong, Windhoek (Affies Park), 2019 (WCL2) vs. Oman, Windhoek (Wanderers), 2019 (WCL2) vs. Oman, Dubai, 2019 (T20 World Cup Qualifier) Leading men’s international players: Jan Leonardis ‘Lennie’ Louw (1993-2003), Gavin Murgatroyd (1994-2005), Danie Keulder (1994-2005), Deon Kotze (1994-2009), Jan-Berry Burger (2001-2014), Gerrie Snyman (2001-2017), Sarel Burger (2001-2018), Gerhard Erasmus (2011-Present), JJ Smit (2013-Present) World Cup appearances: ODI: 2003 (Group Stage) T20: Qualified for 2020 which is postponed until 2021. World Cricket League history: WCL History: Division 2 2007 (3rd), Division 2 2011 (2nd), Championship 2011-13 (7th), Division 2 2015 (2nd), Championship 2015-17 (8th), Division 2 2018 (4th), 2019 Division T20 (1st) CWC Leagues: CWC League 2 2019-21
First women's international match: vs. Kenya, Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), 2004 Leading women's players: Irene van Zyl (2011-Present), Sune Wittmann (2011-Present), Anneri van Schoor (2011-Present), Yasmeen Khan (2012-Present), Kayleen Green (2013-Present), Adri van der Merwe (2017-Present), Sylvia Shihepo (2017-Present) World Cup appearances: 0
Wanderers Cricket Ground, Windhoek Affies Park, Windhoek United Ground, Windhoek Windhoek High School Stadium Sparta Cricket Club Ground, Walvis Bay