Paving the way - the pioneering years Cricket is a game mainly played in the fomer British Empire, or let us rather say it originated and expanded from there. Evidence of games similar to the modern one played in England dates back to the middle of the 16 th century and the oldest surviving scorecard is that of a match played between England and Kent in London in 1744. The first known laws of the game were published in the same year. The next important event in the history of cricket was the formation of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1787.
The English spread their love of the game to their major colonies towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th - Australia and South Africa joined England in forming the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909, while India, New Zealand and the West Indies joined in 1926. The game expanded mainly in the former British colonies with Pakistan (1953), Sri Lanka (1981) and then Zimbabwe (1992) gaining test playing status. Politics and statecraft also brought cricket to Namibia and evidence exists of a match played between South African soldiers and locals at the Okanjande concentration camp (southwest of Otjiwarongo) in 1915, soon after the Germans had surrendered to the SA troops. The outcome of the First World War left South West Africa as a mandated territory with the Union of South Africa as mandate holder. This meant that more and more South Africans, especially in the public service sector, moved into South West Africa over the years. As infrastructure developed the
recreational and social needs of the community grew and reports exist of club matches being played between the United Service Club (changed to windhoek Club in 1920), Railway, Remnants CC and Walvis Bay as early as 1919. An interdepartmental Railway League also existed with Headquarters beating The Rest by 73 runs in the first final in February 1920. As far as could be established Willy Eades scored the first century on South West African soil with 116* for windhoek Club against Walvis Bay on 27 December 1919, while the first five wicket haul came two weeks later on 8 January 1920 when Bromley Dreyer took seven for 10 (from 68 balls) for the same club in a match against Remnants CC - in the same match the Remnants bowler von Quitzow took five for 31. Another individual who featured prominently during the twenties as
captain of the windhoek Club, was the first headmaster of Windhoek High School, W J G Anderson (known on the field as Andy).
The hospitable nature of the game was already evident in these early years - The windhoek Advertiser reports on 15 January 1921 on a match between windhoek CC and Walvis Bay played at Walvis Bay as follows: “The outstanding and much appreciated feature of the game was the hospitality and attention bestowed on the visitors by the home team, who, ably headed by captain Forbes, were never weary in attending to the comforts of their guests.” The leading role of South African government officials in promoting cricket is illustrated in the list of local clubs’ office bearers at the time that reads like a Who’s Who of the Influential Elite - the Administrator for SWA, the Secretary for SWA, the Chief Native Commissioner of the Territory and the Assistant Secretary of Lands all served as either patrons, presidents or chairmen of clubs
during the pioneering 1950’s.
The first representative match was played in 1954 when the Cape Town club side, Liesbeek Park visited the country for a match played at the Mabel Vlok field near the railway station in Windhoek. Ginger Keane captained the South West African side on that day with John Powell as vice captain. It was, however, only in December 1958 that a representative team left the territory for the first time to tour the Union of South Africa to play in Port Elizabeth. This team was led by Arthur Browne (Railways) with Walvis Bay’s Arthur MacDonald as his deputy. Contrary to the belief that the game was dominated by the capital’s clubs - Railways, Ramblers, United and Wanderers - this 14-man team contained six players from out of town, namely five from Walvis Bay and one from Otjiwarongo (three each from Wanderers and Railways and two from Ramblers constituted the remainder of the team). In January 1960 a similar tour was arranged, only this time to Cape Town.
At this time the local clubs, being Otjiwarongo, Police, Railways, Ramblers, Tsumeb, United, Walvis Bay, Wanderers and Windhoek High School, prompted the South West African Cricket Union not to seek affiliation with its Union counterpart, but rather to opt for affiliation with the South African Country Cricket Association (SACCA) which was founded in 1954 and staged its first South African Country Cricket Festival in the same year to promote the game in outlying rural areas. Local strength was thus fairly compared and the then South West Africa found its niche in this annual weekly festival, albeit at the expense of another colonial neighbour, Rhodesia, who had to withdrew after the 1961 SACCA week. This country had difficulties raising a representative team since the regular staging of the week in January/February coincided with the tobacco farmers’ busiest time out in the field - that is the tobacco field.
South West Africa volunteered to fill the breach in Kimberley in 1962 and although we were only accepted on a three-year trial period our formal application for continued participation was unanimously carried at the 1963 SACCA Annual General Meeting in Oudtshoorn. The country-rural-farmer connotation of this annual festival might detract from the quality of the competition in the minds of some, but rest assured that several top class internationals, notably Springbok and Natal player Les Payn in the early sixties and Peter Kirsten and Allan Lamb for Defence in the early seventies graced the SA Country Districts Tournament. Several provincial stalwarts also made their mark in this competition, amongst them the Eastern Province foursome Lorrie Wilmot, Arthur Short, Claude Pittaway and Keith Gradwell, Border’s Robbie Muzzell and Ian McClenaghan, Transvaal’s Gavin Martin, Griqualand West’s Mike Doherty, Howie Bergins and John Stephenson of Boland and later Western Province, Vernon Creswell of Northern Transvaal and Mike Madsen (Natal Currie Cup), who along with Kirsten and Lamb, did duty for Defence in this tournament.
For 28 consecutive years (1962 - 1989) South West Africa competed at this level, playing the regular five games during the SACCA week (weather permitting) against the Country District teams of all the major South African provinces: Eastern Province (EP), Natal, Western Province (WP), Transvaal, Northern Transvaal (formerly North Eastern Transvaal), Griqualand West, Border, Orange Free State (OFS) and later also Boland and for a while in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s against a SA Defence XI. SWA played a total of 130 matches resulting in 31 victories, 48 losses, 50 draws and one tie.
On the playing field SWA could not have asked for a better start when they achieved are sounding four-wicket victory against Western Province in the very first match they ever played at this level in 1962. Tienie de Wet claimed five WP scalps for 55 runs, ably supported by Bob Phillips, who took four for 59 as the team bowled out the opposition for 166. Phillips (59) and Phil Erasmus (51) carried SWA to a historic win in their first ever outing at this level. Erasmus, with a further 73 against EP, impressed the selectors to such an extent that he became South West Africa’s first representative (of 11 more to follow) in the South African Country Districts XI that normally ended the week-long festival by playing a two-day match against the provincial Currie Cup side of the host province. However, this time around a first class outing against John Reid’s touring New Zealand side was in the offing.
In Oudtshoorn in 1963 and Pietermaritzburg in 1964 SWA managed nine losses and one draw from 10 outings - a dry spell that was countered by some brilliant individual performances. Charles Cawood became the team’s first centurion with 106 against WP in Oudtshoorn, followed by Ray Bressler’s 130* against OFS in the same tournament, while Billy Steele compiled 102 against Griqualand West in Pietermaritzburg. Tienie de Wet’s consistently good bowling was rewarded with an analysis of 5/65 against Transvaal in 1963. The quality all-round performances of Bob Phillips in both the 1964 Pietermaritzburg and the 1965 Grahamstown tournaments were enough to ensure his selection for the SA Country Districts team on both occasions. Some excellent bowling performances that did not merit selection for this team but deserve to be
mentioned were the following: in 1965 Piet Stroebel took 6/54 against EP A and John Olivier took 5/54 against Border, while Keith Wilkinson returned figures of 6/16 against WP in Pretoria in 1967. That year’s tournament also provided a first and one-and-only for South West Africa when manager Will Glover was appointed manager of the South Africa Country Districts team for its match against Bobby Simpson’s visiting Australians. A lean period followed the team’s impressive start in 1962 and it was only four years and 20 matches later that SWA could record its second victory against Border B in Queenstown in 1966 with a match-winning 7/35 from Allan Stevens. The next match was won by a record 10 wickets as Griqualand West was bowled out for only 38 runs. This time around speedster Mike Murray did the damage by taking 6/26. Unfortunately this winning streak did not last and another barren period of 20 matches followed in which South West Africa only won one match in the 1967, 1968
and 1970 tournaments respectively and none in 1969. During this nine-year dry spell (since 1962) Griqualand West appeared to be SWA’s favourite opponents, since their best-ever bowling performance of 1966 was followed in Welkom in 1968 by their best-ever batting display in compiling 277 for six declared against the Diamond Miners
with Keith Gibbs’ 131 remaining South West Africa’s highest individual score in the tournament.
With other scores of 87 against OFS and 38* against North Eastern Transvaal Gibbs could be considered unlucky not to be chosen for the SA Country Districts XI. A year later in Klerksdorp and Stilfontein he proved his all-round ability by claiming 4/43 against Defence and 3/28 against Natal. This time round his batting was not at the same high level as a year before and he again missed out on higher honours. Also missing out on SACD selection was Chris Zaayman, who displayed good batting form with a well-played 104* against EP and 58 against Natal.
During the seventies a new era dawned for South West African cricket as it entered the best spell in its 28-year SA Country Districts cricket connection. Twenty matches were played from 1970 to 1973 of which SWA won nine and lost only four, with seven drawn fixtures. The team’s on-field achievements were also rewarded with four players making it into the SACD elite XI. In 1970 Paul Abbott celebrated his call-up with a well struck 58 in a drawn first class outing against the Griqualand West Currie Cup side, thereby cementing his place in the side for a follow-up SACD team tour to Rhodesia.
A year later the festival moved to Stellenbosch where three of five matches were won, mainly because of an excellent team effort - John Powell’s skilful captaincy as well as 57 runs against Border was complemented by Ray Watson-Smith who scored 100 against Griqualand West and also contributed with the ball. Rinus Martins was also prominent with ball in hand while steady batting from Trevor Hattingh, Ian Crawford and Chris Nicholson rounded off the team’s performance. Nicholson got the call up to the SACD side and was also named in the team for a seven match tour of Brazil and Argentine.
The year 1972 was a golden year for South West Africa in the Free State when a first match loss against Northern Transvaal was followed by four wins on the trot against Western Province, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State. The outstanding performances came mainly from Ray Watson-Smith, Sakkie Learmouth, Chris Nicholson and Gert van Rensburg. Another first for SWA was the selection of two team members (Watson-Smith & Learmouth) for the South African Country Districts team. Unfortunately they were also the last South West African representatives in the top team for quite a while, as six years passed before the next selection. This was not for lack of trying, since three of the country’s overall best individual performances at the Festival were produced in this middle-to-late-seventies era.
In 1973 in Grahamstown Dave Janisch compiled knocks of 116 against OFS, 82 against Defence and 68 against Border, while the team’s longest serving captain and player, Johan van Langelaar, had an excellent Country Districts debut with bowling figures of 7/45 against Defence, 5/45 against EP and 3/66 against Griqualand West. Another debutante at this level was Flippie Loock, who top scored in the match against Eastern Province (45) and returned the best bowling figures in the match against Border (3/13). It was, however, his stunning bowling display in 1976 and 1977 that must still rate as some kind of SA Country Districts-, South West African- and maybe even world record. In five consecutive matches in this competition his bowling feats were quite phenomenal. In the last two matches of the 1976 tournament in Welkom he took 4/35 against Northern Transvaal and 6/53 against Western Province. In Krugersorp in 1977 only three matches were played (2 washed out completely) and Loock’s amazing run with the ball continued - he took 5/48 against Transvaal B, 5/49 versus Border and twisted and turned the Free Staters in the last match to the tune of 5/16. An incredible 25 wickets for 201 runs in five consecutive matches at an average of 8.04 - indeed a masterful performance! A major sponsorship by Stellenbosch Farmers’ Wineries led to the establishment in the 1973/74 season of an annual SFW Country Districts Interprovincial Competition, to be played on a league basis. SWA was included in the planning, but unfortunately had to turn down the invitation due to financial constraints. In order to compensate, the sponsors and organisers sent a representative
SFW (SA) Country Districts team on a week-long five-match tour to South West Africa that would include a match at the coast. Another major spin-off from this tour was the fact that this opportunity was used to develop young players.
This SFW Country Districts team visited SWA annually between 1974 - 1986 and contained several well known international stars on invitation, such as South Africans Graeme Pollock, Eddie Barlow, Athol McKinnon, Trevor Goddard and English internationals Alan Lamb, Basil D’Oliviera and Graeme Barlow. Provincial stars that were active Country Districts players and regulars in the SFW team were Attie van Niekerk, Bossie Clarke and Mike Bowditch (Western Province), Bruce Groves and Ismael (Babu) Ebrahim (Natal), Neil Rosendorf (Orange Free State), Howie Bergins (Boland) and Mickey Arthur (Griqualand West (later OFS). In the meantime, back in 1975 in Nelspruit, Peter Gurney became South West Africa’s 8th centurion in the South African Country Districts competition when his 103 contributed to the team’s 30-run victory over WP.
Unlike the Janisch - van Langelaar - Loock threesome, two outstanding individual performances that were rewarded with SACD XI call-ups were to follow in 1978 and in 1982 by arguably two of the best South West African players of all time. In the first case Peter Norgarb ended the 1978 Festival in Kimberley as the tournament’s leading wicket taker with 6/23 being his best in the match against OFS. Norgarb did not make the representative side at the next year’s event, but several four-wicket hauls combined with some good outings with the bat (his best being 80 against Border in 1980) resulted in making him a kingpin in the 1980 and 1981 SACD XI’s. He
also did his bit when this representative side recorded its first-ever win against the host’s full strength Currie Cup side by beating Border in Grahamstown in 1981. Norgarb claimed 4/43 in the Border second innings. This fine athlete was also the one and only cricketer to be honoured as South West African Sportsman of the Year in 1979. The second piece of all-round brilliance came from Rob Brown, whose feats also made him a three-year regular in the SA Country Districts team from 1982 to 1984 - albeit only as 12th man in 1982 in what was ironically and arguably his best year. This Festival took place in Queenstown where South West Africa recorded their biggest win while batting second. Brown was in devastating form and recorded a Country Districts record of 9/27 to bundle out the hosts, Border, for a mere 49. The visitors reached that target with four wickets down to claim a six-wicket victory.
Brown’s consistency and regular star performances (including 5/54 against Transvaal in 1983 and 5/29 versus Northern Transvaal in 1986) made him the backbone of the SWA team until 1986. In 1978 SWA recorded SACD century number nine when Rod Yaldwyn scored 102* in what constituted another spoiling of the host’s party, this time when Griqualand West was beaten in Kimberley by 88 runs. Yaldwyn’s good batting form continued in the next year’s tournament in Oudtshoorn where it merited his selection as 12th man for the SA Country Districts side.
The individual performances of the likes of Loock, van Langelaar, Norgarb, Brown and Yaldwyn inspired the rest of the team to such an extent that their record between 1976 and 1980 makes for some good reading - 23 played, eight won, 13 drawn and only two lost. One of these losses, however, would rather be forgotten. In 1980 in Pietermaritzburg the host province was again down and out for the count - Natal was bundled out for a mere 68 (van Langelaar 4/20 and Norgarb 4/21 did the damage). SWA’s response was found wanting and they only managed 48 - their lowest-ever score in any Country Districts Festival. A van Schalkwyk with 7/7 ripped more
than the heart out of the South Westers on that fateful day.
The support from the rest of the team for the previously mentioned individuals during this time was tremendous and the likes of Deon Karg, Greg Butcher, Chris Zaayman, André Smuts, Barry Ackerman, Trevor Britten, Roger Crittenden and Mervyn Phillips all made valuable contributions. Phillips’ other contribution was even more significant because he was the first non-white cricketer to represent South West Africa in the 1978 and 1979 Country District Festivals.
During the 1980’s the team’s achievements were highlighted by an all round and concerted team effort backed up by incredible spirit rather than continued individual brilliance. This is evident from the fact that team selection in this decade proved to be highly consistent - the core of the team played in six or more of the 1980 festivals. André Smuts played in nine, Deon Karg, Chris Myburgh, Jurie Louw , Jeff Luck, Trevor Britten and Bobby Cradock all played in eight Festival weeks in the eighties while three others, Marius Stander, Rob Brown and Ben Forrer, appeared in six tournaments. This meant that even though their performance record does not quite match the
1970 - 1973 and 1976 - 1980 golden spells, team spirit more than made up for this.
Any cricketer will tell you that the dedication, discipline and lead-by-example attitude provided and instilled by the older experienced team contingent must be balanced and sometimes even countered by the carefree exuberance of youth. Surely Jurie Louw, Mark Barnard, Trevor Britten, Chris Myburgh (and others) provided enough pranks to provide that balance. Another very useful although non-essential characteristic is the intriguingly eccentric type and off-beat characters of the game. They are also fun if there’s a touch of mischief about them and they become valuable when they party with the rest of the guys BUT only drink soft drinks - they obviously then become
the team’s official drivers.
An endearing and somewhat comical moment occurred during SWA’s last appearance at the Country District’s Festival in Oudtshoorn with Wayne Ackerman in this role of official driver. The team played in George on the day and the return to the hotel in Oudtshoorn meant dealing with the hazardous and potentially dangerous Outeniqua Pass. The “old boys” partied first, the night was no longer young and it was very early the next morning when Wayne was driving a halfasleep and snoring bunch of players over the mountain pass… when suddenly … BRAKES … almost to the point of squealing, but it was rather the sudden change in momentum that shocked even the hangovers out of everyone’s system.
Calmly and without any apology to anyone Wayne climbed out of the Combi and in the glaring headlights he approached the “obstacle” - a dung beetle that was trying to manoeuvre his day’s earnings to the other side of the road. Wayne had merely decided to help, which he promptly and gently did. As silently as he had gotten out he got back in and continued the drive as if nothing had happened. How on earth he noticed the insect in the road in the first place remains a mystery and a miracle to this day, but - nice touch, Wayne! If you have been lead to believe that the high spirits in this team somehow covered up a lack of playing skills - think again. Especially the contribution of veteran Deon Karg must be highlighted - his rugby playing skills and achievements are well documented and although not so well documented, his performance on the cricket pitch was equally impressive. He made his debut at South African Country Districts level in 1970 and left this scene on a high note 18 years later in 1988. Numerous fifties were previously overlooked by the SACD selectors, but Deon finished in style by scoring the big one - 105 against Griqualand West in Pietermaritzburg - in what was to be his last appearance at this level. He got his call-up to the South African Country Districts team and proceeded to show his remarkably mature skill in a flawless knock of 72 against a Natal XI.
Some other noteworthy contributions with the bat in the 1980’s came from Jurie Louw, who scored 73 against Natal in Grahamstown in 1981 and 52 against Northern Transvaal in Vereeniging in 1986, John Blakeway, who scored 61 against Boland in Orkney in 1983 and Jan Ackerman who compiled 73 against Transvaal in the same year’s Festival. Match winning bowling performances came from Ben Forrer, who recorded 5/57 in a thrilling one-run victory against OFS in Welkom in 1984 and again spoilt the host’s party, while Lennie Louw took 5/28 in a thumping 107-run win over Griqualand West in Vereeniging in 1986.
The eighties also produced two major role players on the road to cricketing independence. The experience and skilful captaincy of Lennie Louw lead the team into the future while the former Western Province and Boland stalwart, Stephen Jones, arrived in 1988 as player/coach of the national team. Their influence and talent were well displayed in the 1989 South African Country Districts Festival held in the South Western Cape when both were selected for the SACD team to play a Western Province President’s XI at the end of the week’s showpiece event with Stephen Jones as captain. Jones contributed 63 while Louw took 4 for 49 to put the Country Districts in a
strong position - a dramatic second innings collapse unfortunately put paid to their team’s chances. But that’s cricket, after all!
Reflecting back on this era it is evident that the vastness of the country, a general lack of infrastructure and the (un)reliability of transport all contributed to limited cricket development and growth outside the capital. This situation changed dramatically during the liberation struggle with the influx of large numbers of South African troops. The establishment of army bases, notably in Walvis Bay, Grootfontein, Oshakati, Rundu and Tsumeb did wonders to spread the cricketing gospel.
Coaching began at schools and in rural communities (notably Mariental, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein (Berg Aukas), Walvis Bay and Gobabis) and a representative schools’ side followed the senior team into the annual schools’ counterpart of the South African Country Districts Tournament (Triomf Week) in Oudtshoorn in 1973. The foundation laid by teachers and parents in forming the first South West African School’s Cricket Union in the same year still reap rewards three decades down the road. The names of Louis Burger (HTS), Martiens Bakkes (WHS), Billy Kempen (Centaurus), Father Herminigildes (St. Paul’s), ………(Jan Möhr) and later Frank Snyman (parent and avid cricket lover) are worth mentioning. This first South West African school’s team was managed by Louis Burger and coached by Billy Steele with Adrian Kent as captain, who also captained the Cravenweek rugby side. The rest of the team was Julian Baard, Donny Bird, Ronald Coppin, Peter Davidson, Jurie Louw, David Salmon, André Smuts, Hennie
van der Westhuizen, Danie van Niekerk, Johan van Staden, Mike van Vuuren and Nico Venter.
Five members of this team later earned promotion to the senior squad - Louw, Smuts, Davidson, Baard and Salmon. Baard excelled at junior level as he was chosen for the South African Country Districts School’s XI in 1974 and 1975, also captaining this team in 1975. In 1974 André Smuts joined Julian in the SACD School’s team under captaincy of the then Northern Transvaler, Lourens de Lange, who (in the nineties) also played for Namibia. In 1975 David Salmon was also chosen for the SA Country Districts School’s XI along with Julian and André. This Triomf Week participation (from 1973 onwards) was, however, not the first time SWA schoolboys competed
against outside opposition. In 1962 a Windhoek Schools XI went on a five match tour to Cape Town - the 2002 President of the Namibia Cricket Board, Laurie Pieters, was a member of this team. (For a more detailed reflection on youth cricket and development see chapter 5).
True to the game’s gentleman’s tradition the “military” involvement in the country’s cricketing history was not one-sided and the United Nations’ Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG) emulated the earlier role of the South African Defence Force by formally participating in the national cricket league in 1989/90 and 1990/91. UNTAG’s Military Commander, General Prem Chand (of India), was a keen cricket supporter and he officially attended the 1990 fixture between the SWA Kudus and the Namibian Defence XI at the invitation of the Namibia Cricket Board.
Two other noteworthy occurrences in the pre-independence era were the first tours to and from SWA other than to and from South Africa. In 1978 a team from the Netherlands played and lost a close-fought two-day match against SWA in Windhoek with Rinus Martins scoring the winning runs. In June/July 1982 a non-representative club/social side, The Weavers, toured the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The team, managed by Hannes van der Merwe, was captained by Peter Norgarb. The rest of the team was Barry Ackerman, Bobby Craddock, Terry Dearlove, Greg Butcher, Alan Dunn, Bokkie du Plessis, Charles Elliott, Rob Lucey, Mike Humphries, Mike Kirkpatrick, John Lobban, James Radloff and John van der Bijl. They played a total of 11 one-day matches in 20 days against club sides in Sussex, Cornwall, Alderney,
Guernsey, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
Lifting the horizons - the transition period Although the South West African Cricket Union, as it was formerly known, was never formally affiliated to the South African Cricket Union, Namibia’s cricketing status has historically been linked with that of South Africa. When ties were broken with the South African body in June 1989
in the run-up to the first independent Namibian elections, the Namibia Cricket Board, (chairman Louis van den Berg, Stephen Jones, Louis van Reenen and Danie Jacobs) turned down the invitation to participate in the South African Country Districts competition as from the 1989/90 season. Instead they opted to play two matches in Botswana against that country’s national team in November 1989. In so doing Namibian cricket became the first sporting body to sever its association with South Africa, in accordance with the Gleneagles Agreement, and at the same time it opened the doors for acceptance into the broader international arena.
After this fresh start it was essential to market cricket throughout Namibia and the Namibia Cricket Board appointed Namibia Sports Promotions Pty Ltd (NSP) as its official marketing and promotional agent. Although NSP’s business interests reached beyond the cricket fraternity, their management contained both Louis van den Berg and Stephen Jones and it was thus natural that they would focus their marketing efforts on cricket. They were largely influential in organising the debut tour to Botswana as well as the first tours to Namibia by Gloucestershire and the etherlands in 1990 and the Marylebone Cricket Club (the MCC) in 1991. (for more detail on these matches see chapter 3). Other NSP cricket projects at the time were the introduction of night cricket at the Independence Stadium and the initiation of the Zone 6 cricketing structure in
cooperation with the Namibia and Botswana Cricket Boards.
Africa was geographically subdivided into several zones with Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Angola comprising Zone 6. The first ever Zone 6 Cricket Tournament was played in Windhoek in September 1991, with Namibia hosting Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia. Kenya withdrew shortly before the start of the tournament and the visiting Oxford University side from England stood in as replacement. By the time Namibia applied for International Cricket Council (ICC) associate membership, a fullcolour prospectus on Namibian cricket and the road ahead had been drawn up by NSP in collaboration with the Namibia Cricket Board. An important prerequisite for ICC recognition was to formally structure and strategise development.
With this emphasis on development the introduction of Mini Cricket (softball format for children from 6 - 9 years) also became one of NSP’s primary responsibilities. The Mini Cricket programme as launched in May 1989 and was so successful that it was included in the programme for Namibia’s independence celebrations in March 1990. NSP also recommended that junior cricket be played at club level in the form of Mini Cricket, as well as at under-12, under-14 and under-16 levels. This recommendation was, however, not implemented by the Namibia Cricket Board and they stuck to the format of under-11, under-13, under-15 and under-19 competitions.
As far as coaching was concerned the Namibia Cricket Board made their objective very clear, namely that every club participating in the Namibian first league should be required to employ a full time professional coach and/or player. The financial packages resulting from this would be included in the Namibia Cricket Board’s coaching and development budget. The importance of taking cricket to the remote rural areas of Namibia was also highlighted in the mentioned prospectus, not only for the sake of developing untapped potential countrywide, but also for the potential impact of cricket on the general upliftment of the people and the breaking down of traditional barriers between different groups.
In its submission to the ICC the Namibia Cricket Board also highlighted the importance of a healthy club cricket structure in Namibia. They recognised the fact that the strength of cricket in Namibia would ultimately be determined by the number and strength of clubs within the country. Soon after independence the Namibia Cricket Board started working diligently on this focus point and new headquarters for Namibian cricket were developed at Wanderers Club in Windhoek. New fields at United Cricket Club and Police Cricket Club brought to 12 the number of grounds in use at club level at that stage. The number of first league-standard grounds in Namibia doubled in
three years’ time. Two new first league clubs also entered the fray when Oranjemund and UNTAG gained first league status. All this groundwork met ICC requirements, but the world cricket governing body was still concerned about the standard of the game and whether the new kids on the block had the infrastructure to accommodate international tours. The final piece in the puzzle was to be the MCC tour to Namibia, and more to the point, their recommendation regarding Namibia’s
application for associate membership of the ICC. The tour was successful, their report to the ICC positive and Namibia’s application was unanimously accepted at the ICC Annual General Meeting during August 1992.
Sighs of relief! - “We’ve made it!!” - a new beginning!!!
When the euphoria had evaporated, reality sank in… AND it was admitted that not everything was the way it should be. The major drawback was the financial state of the Namibia Cricket Board. Impressing the powers-that-be had cost money and lots of it, depleting current sponsorships and making prospective new sponsors cautious and sceptical. Namibian cricket was hovering on the brink of bankruptcy with an overdraft of approximately N$300 000 and an outstanding debt of N$42 780,90 to the Namibia National Sports Council (NNSC). With this debt came the stark possibility of being barred from the NNSC, thus losing government support and its international credentials. The hard earned international recognition was about to go down the drain. Hats off, therefore to the individuals who firmly believed in the cause and stepped in to save the
situation. In their personal capacity they contributed handsomely to the coffers of Namibian cricket - this even included making personal loans where other individuals signed surety for them.
Namibian cricket is grateful for these unselfish sacrifices made by certain individuals - Hans-Erik Staby needs special mention in this regard. First National Bank in the person of manager Dave Harris were also very accommodating and a special deal was struck to write off certain debts against sponsorships. Financial expertise came on board when Leeba Fouché, a Director of a major building society at the time, became a NCB member (and was elected Chairman in 1994). With his advice the problem was realised and Laurie Pieters, who was the umpires’ representative on the Board at the time, was approached to make himself available as Chairman of the Board. He was duly elected in 1992 and with his loyal dedication, hard work and focused vision coupled with stringent and conservative financial measures, the storm was weathered, the boat steadied and, more importantly, the course to a safe harbour was plotted.
Within five years the official relationship between cricket and the NNSC changed from one of being faced with expulsion to being recognised in July 1997 as an ‘A’ status sport alongside athletics, boxing, football and netball. In the meantime Louis van den Berg had retired from cricket and the cricketing fraternity was saddened when in August 1995 Louis lost his life in a plane crash in South Africa. After a fourm year stint as player-coach Stephen Jones joined the Border Bears in South Africa in 1992 and the
coaching of the national senior side was taken over by Attie Badenhorst (former SA provincial cricketer for Boland) for two seasons and former local stalwart Deon Karg also undertook a two year stint as national coach. In 1997 the NCB requested the ICC to help provide Namibia with an internationally qualified professional coach as part of the governing body’s development obligation to associate member countries. The ICC obliged and Neil Lenham was appointed as national senior coach in 1997. He
was succeeded by senior player Lennie Louw who was appointed as player-coach in 1998. The English professional and international fast bowler James Kirtley became national team coach in 1999/2000. Several other overseas professionals also played a major role as club coaches (as well as in youth development), notably the late Graham Kersey, Rodney Bannister, Carlos Remy and Daynand (Dee) Thakur.
Another major contribution in spreading the cricket gospel was the invitation from the NCB and individual clubs to high profile South African stars for public speaking, fund raising dinners and/or coaching clinic commitments in Namibia. A representative who’s who of SA cricket has visited Namibia for promotional events since 1990 - Jonty Rhodes, Fanie de Villiers, the late Hansie Cronje, Pat Symcox, Dave Richardson, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Adams, Clive Rice, Peter Kirsten, Bob Woolmer and Omar Henry are a few names that spring to mind.
On the note of high profile stars the high profile politician and business community involvement in the promotion of the game played at Wanderers on 25 February 1992 between a Corporate XI and a Diplomatic XI must be mentioned. The Corporates were Don Russell, Trevor Solomons, Gerhard Roux, Mike van Nierop, Peter Turner, Herman Lambrecht, John Reisbeck, Derek Moore, Herman Davin, James Moore, Stuart Super and Jasper Utley while the Diplomatic XI were Leo Kenn, Dr. Mosé Tjitendero, Buddy Wentworth, Reggie Diergaardt, Cass Govender, Alex Zacharia, Bill Musoke, Peter Dickson, Roger Clark, Gerry Weeraratne and Anil Shukla. Dr. Tjitendero, the Speaker of the Namibian National Assembly, also became the first patron of the Namibia Cricket Board for the 1990 season to be followed by Hans-Erik Staby from 1991 to 2002 when he was succeeded by the Minister of Basic Education, Youth and Sport, the Honourable John Mutorwa.
Not only were horizons lifted to include the international arena but they were also broadened to include the fairer sex. In this regard the major contribution by all mothers with their taxi-spectator support at weekly school matches was complemented by several individuals who persevered in walking the proverbial extra mile for the game.
Rinette Hulme started umpiring at an early age and was elected chairperson of the Namibia Cricket Umpire’s Association in 1995. During that same year she produced a first for Namibia when she was selected as the first woman to umpire in the Zone 6 tournament in Tanzania. Irené van Zyl produced a simular first when she became the first female umpire in the South African Country Districts tournament in 2001 where she also gained the honour of officiating in the final match. Prior to Rinette making her mark as umpire she was a keen scorer at club as well as national team games, where she was more often than not assisted by another just as keen female supporter in the person of Annelise Visagie. On the administration side five other women have also served on the NCB since 1995. They were Theresa Thomas (Secretary 1995), Yvonne Huss (Secretary 1996), Marcia Rudd (Secretary 1997), dr. Carol Kotzé (Promotions and Marketing 1997/8 and 2002) and Nadine Visser (Administration 2002). The exploits of Annelie Swanepoel and Elmarine Jordaan (both in the realm of junior cricket) are documented in chapter 5.
The rise of cricket from being played in a prisoner-of-war camp in 1915 to being played in World Cup 2003 is an obvious success story and the sport was duly credited along the way - the majority of the accolades being bestowed by the Namibia National Sports Council. The list of honours is as follows:
- 1993: Best sports development programme
- 1993: Sports Administrator of the year - Laurie Pieters
- 1995: Best sports development programme
- 1996: Coach of the year - Kirk West
- 2000: Coach of the year - Lennie Louw
- 2001: 5 of the 9 awards (as well as a special merit award)Team of the year - National Cricket team
- Sports achiever of the year - Danie Keulder
- Most improved sportsperson of the year - Burton van Rooi
- Coach of the year - Lennie Louw
- Sports Administrator of the year - Francois Erasmus
- Special Merit award - cricket - Hannes van der Merwe
- Based on their lifelong service to the game Honorary Life Membership of the NCB was bestowed on Hannes van der Merwe in 2000 and Hans-Erik Staby in 2002.
- Flying the flag - representative matches
It is necessary from the outset to differentiate between representative official and unofficial matches. The first is when matches are played against recognised established first class opposition from abroad, while unofficial matches are those against opponents who do not compete in recognised first class cricket.
One of the major challenges facing the Namibia Cricket Board after its establishment in 1989 was to find suitable opponents and competitions for Namibian teams at all levels. The first unofficial tour was undertaken to Botswana in November 1989. This Ace Maize Namibian touring party consisted of Lennie Louw (captain), Gielie Vermeulen, Andy Fallis, Arrie Hougaard, Jeff Luck, Rudi Birkenstock, Gavin Murgatroyd, Lionel Steffens, Johan Swart, Melt van Schoor, Stephen Jones, Richard Nineham, Louis van Reenen (manager) and Laurie Pieters (umpire). Lennie Louw thus made history by being selected as the first ever captain of any Namibian touring side. Richard Nineham was a registered pilot and he flew the chartered aircraft to Botswana. The team played two one-day matches in Gabarone against the Botswana national side and won both easily.
The Independence celebrations on 21 March 1990 was the next big opportunity for Namibian cricket to show off its prowess. Gloucestershire, an English county side, visited the country and played against the Namibians as part of the celebrations. This first Namibian cricket side ever to represent our country at home was dressed in the bright colours of the brand new Namibian national flag and consisted of Lennie Louw (captain), Gielie Vermeulen, Andy Fallis, Bokkie du Plessis, Shaun McCulley, Rudi Birkenstock, Stephen Jones, Johan Swart, Melt van Schoor, Lionel Steffens, Richard Nineham and Gavin Murgatroyd. Louis van Reenen accompanied the team as manager. The visitors were captained by Tony Wright while their manager/coach was the well-known former S.A. international player, Eddie Barlow.
A series of matches was played, which included three day-night fixtures at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek. The visitors lost the day matches, but was unbeaten in the matches played under lights. Four Namibian players scored half-centuries in the series, namely Lambert Fick, Gavin Murgatroyd, Bokkie du Plessis and Stephen Jones, while Dean Hodgson achieved the same for the visitors. The visiting bowlers took four wickets in a match on three occasions, from Mark Alleyne, Martin Ball and Ian Butcher with only Gavin Murgatroyd equalling for Namibia. The Namibian team was still in a smiling mood when the next touring side from the Netherlands arrived in April 1990. They included players from Pakistan and Sri Lanka and were captained by Steven Lubbers. Their programme included a match against an invitational side in Oranjemund on Namibia’s southernmost border. The Netherlands showed their class against an inexperienced Namibian side by remaining unbeaten on their tour while four matches were abandoned as a result of rain. Four Dutch players recorded half-centuries, Robert van Oosterom (twice), D Visee, Nolan Clarke and Flavian Aponso, while Lennie Louw with 88 top scored for Namibia. Their bowler, F Jansen, took five wickets in a match on two occasions while Lennie’s 5/41 was Namibia’s best bowling performance. Two other Namibian bowlers managed four wickets in a match, Lionel Benjamin (4/17) and Johan Swart (4/23) rising to the occasion.
In August of that same year Namibia toured Zimbabwe. The team was still captained by Lennie Louw and Louis van Reenen again served as manager. Stephen Jones, who had previously indicated his wish to retire after the tour, was the player/coach of the team. Three one-day matches were played against Zimbabwean country district teams, namely the Bridges XI, a Mashonaland XI and a Harare South XI. Namibia won all three but lost the only three-day match against a strong Zimbabwe Board President’s XI by six wickets, although it was only attained from the second last ball of the match. The best Namibian batsmen on this four-match tour was Gielie Vermeulen (113*and 53*), Lambert Fick (92* and 76*), Lennie Louw (75), Stephen Jones (72), Jeff Luck (71*) and Melt van Schoor (60). None of the matches produced big wicket hauls, but the best figures came from Terry Holland with 3/27, while Gielie Vermeulen also took 3 for 32.
The touring party travelled by road, utilising three mini busses and a light truck and on their way home through the Caprivi strip they experienced more than one roadblock, manned by the Security Forces. At one such checkpoint a lot of explaining was needed when the cricket balls were seen as “possible hand grenades”!
The Namibian cricketing fraternity was shocked when the captain of the national side, Lennie Louw, made a career move to RSA in October 1990. The disappointment was shortlived, since Lennie returned permanently to Windhoek in early 1991.
During March 1991 the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the biggest cricket club in the world with its headquarters at Lords outside London in England, visited Namibian shores for the first time.
The MCC was also the predecessor of the ICC, the ruling body of international cricket. This tour coincided with Namibia’s application for associate membership of the ICC and served as a factfinding tour to assess the standard, infrastructure and facilities of Namibian cricket.
The team had a wealth of experience and was captained by Paul Parker who had played one test for England. Four fellow team members were also English internationals, namely Paul Allott (13 tests & 13 ODI’s), Dermot Reeve (3 tests & 29 ODI’s), Ian Gould (18 ODI’s) and Jim Love (3 ODI’s). Other well known players were the Yorkshire captain, the late Phil Carrick (who also played for Eastern Province and Northern Transvaal in RSA), one of the 1987 Wisden Cricketers of the Year, David Hughes (from Tasmania and Lancashire), and Jack Short who played more than 50 tests for Ireland and also captained France. The visitors were managed by Philip Hodson, brother-in-law of the Namibian player, Norman Curry, while the test umpire, Nigel Plews, also accompanied the team. Their match schedule included games against invitational sides at Swakopmund and Oranjemund where they also conducted several coaching sessions.
Off the field the tour was a resounding success from a Namibian point of view but on it the tourists were too strong for the locals, but overall some good cricket was played. The only threeday match on tour was won by the MCC by an innings and twenty runs, despite half-centuries in both innings from the bat of the young and multi-talented Gavin Murgatroyd. The Namibia Cricket Board (NCB) played a leading role in the formation of the Zone 6 Cricket Association and in September 1991 the inaugural Zone 6 tournament was awarded to Namibia. The Namibian selectors had an eye on future development when they announced a squad of 23 players for the tournament, including several youngsters, under the experienced captaincy of Lennie Louw. The hosts were joined by Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia, while Kenya was a last-minute withdrawal. Fortunately the visiting English side from Oxford University was included to replace the Kenyans as a guest team. The Namibian team played well throughout and won the tournament despite a first round loss to Botswana. After this tournament the Oxford team, which included Jonathan Oppenheimer from the well-known South African Oppenheimer family, played a further 3 matches and lost the series 2 - 1 to Namibia. The next Zone 6 tournament was hosted by Swaziland in 1992. It was characterised by several abandoned matches due to rain. In the match against the home team Mark Barnard lead Namibia to a resounding victory with the immaculate figures of five wickets for just eight runs from five overs. Namibia and Zambia were the only two undefeated teams, but unfortunately the deciding match between them were one of those suffering from the inclement weather. During the tournament Zambia had less rain-interrupted matches than Namibia and won the Zone 6 title with
more log points than the disappointed defending champions.
In 1993 the Zone 6 tournament was played in Malawi, but the Namibian team did not participate due to logistical reasons. Two years later the next Zone 6 tournament was held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The national team sighed in relief when the Namibian citizenship of the appointed captain, Ian Stevenson, was finalised only two days prior to their departure from Windhoek. On this tour cricketing history was again being made with Rinette Hulme becoming the first female umpire to officially represent Namibia in a tournament abroad. Deon Karg accompanied the team as coach and Mark Barnard was the team manager.
Many aspects of this trip to Tanzania filled the team with unpleasant memories. A large part of the Tanzanian population belongs to the Muslim religion and a female on the cricket pitch during matches was a strange phenomenon to them, while women were also not allowed in certain areas at the cricket grounds. This resulted in added pressure on Rinette but she did her country proud. Another strangely amusing incident occurred when the team was ready to board their bus to one of their destinations. The driver was turning in the parking area when a low hanging branch struck the roof rack with a loud bang. The rack was demolished and a lot of personal equipment
damaged. The team was on the sidewalk at the time and Wayne Ackerman ran forward to try and stop the equipment from falling down and some of the items struck him on the head and in anguish he ran towards the driver. The sight of this imposing figure of well over two meters, with blonde hairlocks and a bleeding forehead charging down on him frightened the driver to such an extent that he decided to abandon his passengers and drove off. The aeroplane trip from Kilimanjaro to Dar-es-Salaam was also an unpleasant experience when the plane had to return to ilimanjaro three times because of a malfunction of the Dar-es-Salaam airport lights. On theplaying field however, the team performed reasonably well, going down in the semi-final to the hosts, Tanzania, who in turn lost to Zimbabwe in the final.
The 1996 Zone 6 tournament was staged in Pretoria, RSA, where Namibia was in the same group as Lesotho, Malawi and a Pretoria XI. The team, who was once again captained by Ian Stevenson, won all three their group matches. As was the case two years earlier they again lost to Tanzania (by one wicket) and in the semi-final they went down by four wickets to Zimbabwe, captained by the experienced Gavin Rennie. The best Namibian batsmen were Darren Seager with 90 against Malawi, Gavin Murgatroyd with 143* (from only 119 balls) against Lesotho and Ian Stevenson with 102* against Zimbabwe. In the bowling department 5 performances are worth
mentioning - Danie Keulder took 3/20 against Lesotho and 3/32 against Malawi while Deon Kotzé took 3/22 against Tanzania. Wayne Ackerman returned figures of 3/28 against the Pretoria XI and 3/42 against Zimbabwe with the latter three being a hat trick. he first time in his career and during the luncheon interval he could hardly move. A thorough medical check-up back in Windhoek revealed osteoporosis which led to his retirement from official cricket
a year later. This Pretoria tournament finished on a high note for Namibian cricket, when Danie Keulder was selected Player of the Tournament and wicket-keeper, Melt van Schoor, Fielder of theTournament.
The following Zone 6 tournament was held in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1997 where Namibia won against Zambia and Uganda, but lost against the eventual tournament winners, a SA Development XI and to the hosts Zimbabwe. The popularity of cricket in Africa was on the increase and a bigger competition was needed to accommodate this surge in popularity and the Africa Cricket Association Cup was launched.
* * * * * * *
In the meantime back in September 1992 the Sonnex-Dulux double-wicket competition was held in Windhoek. Several Protea stars visited Windhoek and teamed up with a local player to compete in the contest which provided some interesting cricket. The teams were Corrie van Zyl and André Smith (FNB), Meyrick Pringle and Andy Fallis (Namibian Banking Corporation), Dave Rundle and Gavin Murgatroyd (Sonnex-Dulux), Clive Rice and Trevor Britten (Tempo) and Peter Kirsten and Lennie Louw (Swabou). Clive Rice and Trevor Britten won the competition by defeating Dave Rundle and Gavin Murgatroyd in the final. Two runs were needed to win from the very last ball, and Clive Rice hit Dave Rundle for six.
A Namibian Invitational team then undertook a short tour to Griqualand West and Free State, RSA, where they lost three of their matches - against Griqualand West by nine wickets, against a Free State University XI by 73 runs and against a Free State Country Districts team by four wickets. The best Namibian performers on this trip were Martin Martins (65 with the bat) and Trevor Britten (4/35 with the ball). Namibia won a one-day match against a Bloemfontein XI in which the brothers, Melt and Ian van Schoor, scored a quickfire 8th wicket partnership of 60 runs in only 37 minutes. Captain Lennie Louw was injured on tour and the captaincy for the last two matches went to Ian Stevenson. Basking in the success of the previous year a second Sonnex-Dulux double-wicket competition was staged in September 1993. This time Peter Kirsten and Martin Martins defeated Adrian Kuiper and Lennie Louw in the final.
In the same month the SA Maccabi XI , captained by Terence Lazzard and with the well-known Mandy Yachad in its midst, played two matches against Namibia and won one and lost the second. The Namibian team was captained by Lennie Louw and consisted of Ettienne Brits, Trevor Britten, Wayne Ackerman, Gavin Murgatroyd, Martin Martins, Melt van Schoor, Morné Karg, Ian van Schoor, André Smith, Jaco Coetzee and Glen Griffiths. Melt van Schoor scored a valuable 60 runs in the second match. Jaco Coetzee also made name for himself becoming the next in a long line of double internationals in rugby and cricket. The Wilfred Isaacs XI also paid a quick visit to Namibia playing in a festival match against an invitational side.
The outreach to and from South Africa continued when first a Border side captained by Peter Kirsten, visited Namibia for three one-day matches and then a Namibian team toured Gauteng and played two matches against a Transvaal and a Northern Transvaal invitational XI’s. All five matches were lost by Namibia although four of our batsmen scored half centuries - both Wayne Ackerman and Melt van Schoor scored 60 against Border, while Ettienne Brits (82*) and Gavin Murgatroyd (54) were the best Namibian performers on the short RSA tour.
A big milestone was reached in February 1994 when Namibia, for the first time, competed in the ICC Trophy tournament, which was held in Kenya. (for details of Namibia’s matches in ICC Trophy tournaments see chapter 4) Between 15 - 17 September 1995 the Woerman Brock cricket festival was played at the Wanderers in Windhoek which culminated in a single-wicket competition on the last day in which seven RSA international players and one Namibian player participated. The Protea players were Kepler Wessels, Brian McMillan, Mike Rindel, Dave Callaghan, Pat Symcox, Jonty Rhodes, Adrian Kuiper and the Namibian was Gavin Murgatroyd. This very exciting format provided for a real fun day of cricket. In the third-place play-off match Kepler Wessels was beaten by Gavin Murgatroyd, while Adrian Kuiper defeated Brian McMillan in the final. A full-strength Kwazulu- Natal side, with the likes of Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Neil Johnson in their ranks and Graham Ford as coach, played in combined and invitational sides in Windhoek in the same period.
During September 1995 the Malaysian national team toured Namibia. The visitors had previously been exposed to other international cricket competitions and was captained by Ramesh Menon. They tested their cricket strength against the host country in what was to be Namibia’s first unofficial three-day cricket test. In Namibia’s first innings of 304 for the loss of 8 declared, the best contribution was Danie Keulder’s 122 with captain Ian Stevenson also weighing in with 77 runs. The Malaysian team answered with 270 runs, with their best score from captain Ramesh Menon with 152 runs. The captains then decided that a result was not attainable in the available
time left and the match was called off. The Namibians thereafter won a one-day match against the tourists by five wickets. At one stage the Namibians were heading for defeat with their score on 72 for the loss of five wickets. However, a good sixth wicket partnership between Gavin Murgatroyd and Martin Martins contributed 123 runs. Gavin Murgatroyd finished on 71* earning him the Man of the Match award.
In April 1996 the newly approved associate member of the ICC, Italy, was the next international team to visit Namibia. In the three-day match Namibia scored its highest ever total of 510 for the loss of only four wickets. They batted at a one-day rate of 6.14 per over and declared their innings closed after just 83 overs. Danie Keulder scored the highest ever individual score by a Namibian batsman with a well-played 227 runs. Two of his teammates also weighed in with centuries - captain Ian Stevenson scoring 151 and Gavin Murgatroyd 103*, the latter off only 54 balls faced.
Namibia lost their first wicket with only one run on the board before Ian Stevenson and Danie Keulder put on a record second wicket partnership of 369 runs. The Italians could only manage a meagre 159 runs in their first innings and were forced to follow on. The second time round was not an improvement on the first and they were bundled out for 164, resulting in an innings and 187 run victory for Namibia in just two of the three allocated playing days. The best Italian batsman was Valerio Zupparolli who scored 50 - the following season Zupparolli played his club cricket in Windhoek for the TransNamib Cricket Club. Danie Keulder’s monumental effort with the bat earned him the Man of the Match award. A somewhat comical incident occurred during the Italians’ warm up session before the start of play on the second day when they knew they were to stand tall against a fearsome Namibian bowling attack. Their coach threw bouncers at the Italian batsmen on the cement strip in front of the playing field in order to practice avoiding the quick lifters they were expecting from the Namibian bowlers. In the end, almost no bouncers were bowled to them during the match! Another noteworthy incident was the arrival of the President of the Italian Cricket Board and multi-millionaire, Sergio Gambino, who flew into Windhoek in his private jet. After they were humbled by Namibia the Italians formed part of a triangular one-day tournament competing against Namibia and a visiting South African Development XI undercaptaincy of Ralph Cullinan, the younger brother of the Protea player, Daryll. Namibia won their match against Italy with ease, but lost against the SA team by one wicket from the second last ball of the match with two Namibian half centuries from Mark Barnard (53) and Ian Stevenson (52). This match was scheduled for a day encounter, but rain and wet pitch conditions turned it into a day/night fixture.
The 1996/97 season saw Namibia participating in the UCB Bowl competition for the first time in a three-day and a one-day match format against the second best teams of the various RSA provincial sides. Similar to the Namibian situation a team from neighbouring Zimbabwe was also allowed in this competition. Since these matches did not have first class status non-citizens such as a professional players from elsewhere were allowed to play for Namibia in this competition. It was noteworthy that opposing sides did contain several first class competitors - this was normally senior players who were recovering from injuries, or who experienced a temporary loss of form.
Namibia was scheduled to play the B sides of Zimbabwe, Free State, Boland, Northern Transvaal and Border in this competition. Unfortunately no wins were recorded.
The first match was scheduled for Windhoek, against the Zimbabwe B team. The Namibian team for this historic match was Ian Stevenson (captain), Deon Kotzé, Danie Keulder, Gavin Murgatroyd, Morné Karg, Melt van Schoor, Mark Barnard, Wayne Ackerman, Ian van Schoor, Björn Kotzé and Jackie Thirion (to be replaced by David Coetzee for the one-day match) with Francois Erasmus as manager. In Namibia’s first innings, three half-centuries were scored by captain Stevenson (89), Keulder (66) and Murgatroyd (53). Namibia amassed 330 runs for the loss of seven wickets upon which Zimbabwe replied with 425 and Andy Waller topscored with a fine 266. Namibia achieved a match-best total of 438 runs in their second innings and Waller’s double century was equalled by Gavin Murgatroyd’s smooth knock of 221 runs. This high scoring match predictably ended in a draw. The one-day encounter was easily won by Zimbabwe B when they defeated the home team by 116 runs. The highlight of this match was the century by Craig Evans (124) for the visitors.
The acting player-coach of the Namibian side, Carlos Remy (from England), was the target of a team prank when they flew to Cape Town for the match against Boland B during this first season.
On the way there he was told about the political history of Robben Island and he was also lead to believe that political imprisonment was still the order of the day. The flight-crew played along and radioed the “plot” to airport personnel. Upon landing in Cape Town, Carlos’ passport was scrutinised a bit more thoroughly than the rest of the team and he was abruptly marched away to a security checkpoint. A very worried Carlos was only “set free” when his teammates could not contain themselves any longer and burst out laughing.
Apart from Murgatroyd’s double century the three-day matches produced nine half centuries by Namibian batsmen - the majority (4) coming from Gavin followed by three from Wayne Ackerman and one apiece from Danie Keulder and Ian Stevenson. Only one bowler, Mark Barnard, managed more than four wickets in an innings when he took 5/47 in the three-day fixture against Border B. In the one-day matches (decided over 45 overs) Lourens de Lange topscored for Namibia with an excellent 123* against Free State B. Morné Karg and Deon Kotzé both weighed in with half-centuries. Top scores from the opposition was Waller’s mentioned 266 for Zimbabwe, followed by Free State’s Chris Craven (131), A Wessels from Boland scored 123 while Northern Transvaal’s Gerald Dros scored 103*. Nine half centuries were scored by well known batsmen like Martin van Jaarsveld, Johann Myburgh, Steve Palframan and Frans Cronje amongst others.
In the one-day matches only Craig Evans (124) managed to put a ton past the Namibian bowlers.
The best opposition bowlers in the three-day matches were Boland’s C Vorster with 4/50 and
6/28, Martin van Jaarsveld took 6/30 and Deon Kruis 5/48 both for Northern Transvaal, while Free
State’s Nico Pretorius took 5/64. Boland’s Sean Ackerman took 5/35 in the one-day match
In the 1997/98 Bowl competition Namibia were drawn to play the B sides of Boland, Zimbabwe,
Gauteng, Griqualand West and Free State. The Namibians were again somewhat disappointing
and recorded no wins. The best Namibian performers were Danie Keulder who scored 124* in the
three-day match against Gauteng B, while bowling wise David (Lam) Coetzee tangled the
Griqualand West batsmen and took 7/52. Namibian batsmen scored six half centuries in the oneday
competition as follows: Gavin Murgatroyd 81* against Griquas, Danie Keulder 77* against
Zimbabwe and 65 against Free State, Darren Seager 65 against Zimbabwe, Morné Karg 62
against Gauteng and Rodney Bannister 56 against Free State. High scoring also dominated
opposition performances with André Seymore (221*) and Douglas Gain (180*) sharing a record
unbeaten second wicket partnership for Gauteng against a struggling Namibian attack. A further
three centuries were scored in the three-day competition against Namibia, while the limited overs
matches produced six half centuries with the top score of 98 from Zimbabwe’s Craig Wishart.
During March 1998 the Danish national team toured Namibia. The President of the Danish
Cricket Union, Olé Stan Mortensen, also coached the team while Peer Jensen was the captain.
The Danish team was the 1997 European cricket champion and they finished fifth at the 1997
ICC Trophy Tournament in Malaysia. They started their tour with victories against a Namibia A
side and a Windhoek Invitational XI. The Namibian national team, however, beat them easily by
72 runs, after good batting performances by Gavin Murgatroyd with 96* and Deon Kotzé with 82*,
while Ian van Schoor took 4/46. Their next match against a Coastal XI at Walvis Bay was won by
the visitors. This was followed by a three-day match against the national side in Windhoek. Melt
van Schoor scored 101* and Danie Keulder contributed 61 to the Namibian first innings total of
291 for the loss of eight wickets. The Danes answered with a formidable total of 369 with C
Pedersen contributing a well-played 197. In the second innings Namibia scored 252 before the
match ended in a draw. This time Gavin Murgatroyd scored an unbeaten century with 125*. He
was by far the most outstanding player of the series scoring 357 runs in 5 innings against the
Danes and being dismissed only twice for the incredible average of 178.5.
In preparation of their next tournament commitment Namibia hosted a team from the Northern
Transvaal Academy from RSA for a short two match tour in September 1998 with the home team
victorious on both occasions. The first was won by 6 wickets courtesy of Gavin Murgatroyd’s
sparkling 92* off 87 balls, ably supported by Deon Kotzé who scored a valuable 59. The second
match was played the following day and marked the Namibian debut of James Kirtley, the English
professional from Sussex. Again Deon Kotzé and Gavin Murgatroyd top scored with 83 and 62
respectively. For the Academy side A Roux scored 108. In the bowling department James Kirtley
attained 3/28 in 10 overs to help Namibia to a 38 run victory.
The growth of cricket in Africa resulted in the establishment of the African Cricket Association
(ACA) and the first ACA Trophy tournament was held
in Windhoek in October 1998. The Namibian team for the competition was Danie Keulder
(captain), J B Burger, Shawn Gericke, Björn Kotzé, Rudi Scholtz, Stephan Swanepoel, Phillip
West, Neil Rossouw, Morné Karg, Gavin Murgatroyd, Deon Kotzé, David Coetzee, Melt van
Schoor and André Smith with Francois Erasmus the team manager. The other competing teams
were Kenya, Botswana, Lesotho, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and a South African XI, with the
well-known RSA cricket commentator, Jeremy Fredericks, as their manager.
Namibia won their group matches against Lesotho, Zambia and the South African XI with ease,
but lost in the semi-final against Zimbabwe. The third place play-off match against the SA XI was,
somewhat surprisingly, also lost by Namibia. The best Namibian scores in the tournament came
from Gavin Murgatroyd (80) and Danie Keulder (73), both against Zambia, Morné Karg scored 67
against the SA XI while Deon Kotzé struck 62 against Zimbabwe. The latter was also responsible
for the best bowling figures of 4/24 in 10 overs in the match against Lesotho. Namibia not only
lost the third place play-off match, but got a scare of a more disturbing kind when captain Danie
Keulder injured his groin which sidelined him for several months. The inaugural ACA Trophy was
won by Kenya who beat Zimbabwe in the final. The Player of the Tournament award went to the
Kenyan, Hitesh Modi.
In the 1998/99 Bowl competition Namibia was drawn against the B teams of Border, Gauteng,
Zimbabwe and Boland. With stalwart Danie Keulder still on the injury list, retired captain, Lennie
Louw, was persuaded to make a comeback to the game and he was included in the team for the
first match against Border B in Windhoek which resulted in Namibia’s first win in a Bowl one-day
match. The major contributors to this historic win were Lennie Louw with 61 and Gavin
Murgatroyd with 51*, both scoring at almost a run-a-ball, while James Kirtley took 2/20 from 8
overs bowled. The fourth wicket partnership between Murgatroyd and Louw produced 110 runs to
help Namibia to a five wicket-win. The three-day contest between the two sides ended in a draw.
Their next outing against Gauteng B produced another Namibian highlight with a first win in a
three-day Bowl match. With players like Richard Snell (former Protea player), André Seymore
(who scored a double century against Namibia a year earlier), Zander de Bruyn and Dean Laing
in their midst Gauteng were favoured to clinch victory when they only needed to score 168 on the
last day. They were so confident that most players did not even bother to bring their kit to the
dressing room. Namibia, however, humbled Gauteng when they were bowled out for 154 runs.
James Kirtley, André Smith and J B Burger took three wickets each, while Ian van Schoor bowled
miserly conceding only 14 runs in 12 overs. Namibia subsequently won by 13 runs. The hosts
turned the tables in the one-day match which they won by 143 runs.
The injury to Danie Keulder healed sooner than expected and he returned to play in the three-day
match against Zimbabwe B in December 1998 and both the three-day and one-day matches
against Free State B in January 1999.
The last match of the competition was against Boland B. The three-day match was a tight and
exciting affair. The Namibian team scored 251 and 191 in their respective innings. Boland replied
with scores of 202 and 239 runs which resulted in a victory for Namibia, by 1 run!
During the season’s competition Namibia recorded two centuries in the three-day matches, both
from the bat of Gavin Murgatroyd, with 111 against Border and 100 against Zimbabwe, while halfcenturies
were scored by Melt van Schoor 51* against Zimbabwe, Danie Keulder 57 against
Boland, Deon Kotzé 57 against Border, J B Burger 67 against Zimbabwe and Björn Kotzé 75
against Gauteng. The feat of five wickets per match was achieved once by James Kirtley, with
5/55 against Border. In the one-day matches of the competition Lennie Louw, with 56 against
Zimbabwe, Gavin Murgatroyd with 76 against Gauteng and Danie Keulder with a splendid 94*
against Boland, showed the way.
The top scorers against Namibia were the two Zimbabweans, Dirk Viljoen with 155 and Trevor
Gripper with 134, followed by Boland’s Martin Looch 108* and 102* from D Stephan from Border.
The opponents scored eight half-centuries against Namibia. The best bowling in the three-day
competition came from A McKay from Zimbabwe who took 6 for 43, while in the one-day
competition, Walter Masimula from Gauteng took 5 for 23 and Dewald Pretorius from Free State
took 4 for 14.
In the 1999/2000 Bowl competition Namibia faced the B-teams of Griqualand West, Western
Province, Free State, Eastern Province and Boland. Namibia’s best performance came in the
one-day fixture against Boland who batted first and compiled a score of 208/7. Michael de Kock
achieved their highest individual score of 52 runs. Namibia reached the required target for the
loss of 6 wickets in 43.1 overs, winning the match by four wickets. The best batsman was captain
Danie Keulder with 82 runs.
Gavin Murgatroyd was the kingpin in the Namibian batting line-up. He scored two centuries - one
in the three-day and one in the one-day competition, with 114 against Free State and 111 against
Western Province. James Kirtley again took five wickets in a three-day match with 5/58 against
Boland B, while Björn Kotzé took 4 for 34 in the limited overs match against Eastern Province B.
Other main contributors in the batting division for Namibia in the three-day matches were Danie
Keulder 52 against EP, Gavin Murgatroyd 55 and Lennie Louw 70 against Griquas, Stephan
Swanepoel 56 against Boland, Werner Rademeyer 64 and Deon Kotzé 69 against Free State.
The best performances in the one-day matches came from Gavin Murgatroyd with 52 against EP
and 54 against Griquas while Danie Keulder contributed 53 against WP.
For the opposition W Smit of the Free State scored 134 in the three-day match against Namibia
while eleven half-centuries were recorded from the bats of Murray Creed (twice), Robin Peterson
and C Biggs (EP), Louis Wilkenson and Morné van Wyk (FS), Sarel Wolmarans and G Meyers
(Boland), A Thomas (WP), A Botha and B Tucker (Griquas). In the one-day format the best
opposition scores were Lloyd Ferreira’s 154 for WP against Namibia while four half-centuries
were scored by Wian Smit (FS), Grant Elliot and Derrick Dobson (Griquas) and G Hayward (EP).
The best bowling performances in the three-day matches came from H Venter (Boland) with 4/24
and 5/41, Z Abrahim (Griquas) with 4/44 and 4/46 while Robin Peterson took 5/54 and D
Willemse 4/58, both for Eastern Province. In the one-day competition EP’s Peterson again
bamboozled the Namibian batsmen when he took an incredible 8/27.
In the meantime Lennie Louw was appointed as the Namibian coach on a permanent basis and in
March 2000 he took his charges to participate in a triangular tournament in Malaysia against
Bangladesh and the host nation. At this stage Namibian cricket was experiencing a definite
upward trend and the development of cricket in Namibia was clearly visible. Preparations for the
tournament went well and the team was ready for the challenge. The touring party consisted of
Danie Keulder (captain), Morné Karg, J B Burger, Walter Rautenbach, Werner Rademeyer,
Stephan Swanepoel, Burton van Rooi, Riaan Walters, Björn Kotzé, Darren Seager, Deon Kotzé,
Gavin Murgatroyd, Melt van Schoor, Wilber Slabber, Lennie Louw (player/coach) and Francois
Erasmus (manager). The conditions in Kuala Lumpur were not very pleasant as it rained a lot and
temperatures of 30°C and higher were experienced contributing to a very high humudity.
However, the Namibians did not allow the conditions to bog them down and they caught the eye
with excellent fielding throughout the tournament.
The first match against Bangladesh ended in a draw when it was interrupted and finally
abandoned due to rain. Namibia scored 206 runs for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 50
overs. When the rain stoppage came Bangladesh had 49 runs on the board with three wickets
down after 11.2 overs had been bowled.
In the second match against Malaysia Namibia got a scare when they needed only one run for
victory when three batsmen were dismissed in quick succession. Melt van Schoor brought relief
by hitting the winning runs with a four. In the Malaysian innings Lennie Louw conceded just 10
runs from his full quota of 10 overs, after having only conceded two runs in two overs in the first
match against Bangladesh. Rain again influenced the next match against Bangladesh which was
called off after only 15 overs in the Namibian innings at which stage they were 40 for 3.
The Namibians won the next match against Malaysia by six wickets. They reached the required
136 runs in only 40.5 overs. The final was then to be played between Namibia and Bangladesh.
At that stage it was determined that Namibia had the best net run rate in the competition and
would be declared winners if the final was also abandoned, and believe it or not, it so happened
that for a third time nature would not allow them to be measured against Bangladesh.
The tournament organisers then announced that their calculations re. the net run rate had been
wrong and that Bangladesh had the better rate. A dispute was declared and an Arbitration
Committee, under the auspices of the Malaysian Cricket Association President, Prince Tunku
Peter Imraan, ruled that Namibia and Bangladesh would be joint winners of the tournament.
The Namibian team’s prowess in this international tournament brought the realisation that they
were on the right track to compete successfully at international level. The Bangladesh team had
won the 1997 ICC Trophy and were on the verge of receiving international one-day status from
the ICC. They are able to select their team from approximately 200 000 cricket players in their
country, which is almost a thousand times the Namibian player base. During this triangular
tournament Bangladesh included eight of their international players.
The 2000/2001 cricket season in Namibia started with a quadrangular tournament between the
teams of Namibia, Western Province Academy, Boland Academy and S A Correctional Services.
The tournament was held in Windhoek and served as pre-season preparation for the teams
involved. Namibia won all their round-robin matches and contested the final against Western
Province Academy. The latter won the final by 31 runs mainly due to the bowling of W Wyngaardt
who took 5/38.
In that season’s S A Bowl competition the Namibian team played against the B-teams of Western
Province, Griqualand West, Boland, Eastern Province and Free State. The last three-day match
against Western Province in Cape Town was a thriller. The home team batted first and scored
271, with Björn Kotzé taking a brilliant 5/67. Namibia replied with only 162 runs, with Gavin
Murgatroyd top scoring with 51. The left handed spin-bowler of WP, Paul Harris, took a
staggering 8/57 in 25.5 overs. WP then declared their second innings on 223/3 with Lloyd
Ferreira their best batsman with 100*. This meant Namibia faced a mammoth total of 333 runs on
the final day for victory. It seemed to be an impossible task, but the Namibian batsmen stuck to it.
Gavin Murgatroyd again topped the individual scoring-list with 121 runs. In the closing stages of
the match Namibia needed 29 to win with one wicket remaining. The final partnership between
James Kirtley and Rudi Scholtz lasted for 27 runs before Rudi Scholtz was bowled. WP B won
the match by one run with Paul Harris again their best bowler with 4 for 24 and a match analysis
of 12/81. The inexperienced Namibian tailenders failed to take a single on three occassions
because they believed they needed two runs instead of one for victory.
Namibia proceeded to notch up victories against Eastern Province in the three-day match, and
against Griqualand West, Eastern Province and Free State in the one-day format. The victories
against EP B, in November 2000 in Windhoek, in the three-day as well as one-day matches, were
the first double victories achieved by Namibia in the Bowl Competition.
For the third consecutive season Gavin Murgatroyd was in prolific form scoring two centuries for
Namibia, both in three-day matches, 102* against Eastern Province and 121 against Western
Province. He also scored a half-century (51) in his other knock against WP. His season was
rounded off with 54 and 70 against Free State and 91 against Griquas. Three other Namibian
batsmen passed the fifty mark, Stephan Swanepoel scored 50 and J B Burger 58 against EP
while Darren Seager contributed 57 in the match against WP. The best bowling performances in
the three-day competition came from the Kotzé brothers, with Björn taking 5/67 against WP while
Deon took 4 for 57 in the match against Griquas
Opposing batsmen managed three centuries and five half-centuries in the three-day matches
against Namibia with the top scores from Willie Dry, 163 for Griquas, Lloyd Ferreira, 100* for WP
and Christo Essau, 100 for EP. Their best bowling achievements were Paul Harris’ mentioned
8/57 and 4/24 while Patrick Ndopu took 4/22 for Griquas against Namibia. In the one-day
competition WP’s Andrew Puttick top scored with 97 followed by his teammate Sean Ackerman
79 and Jonathan Trott who scored 68* for Boland. Another Bolander, W du Toit, was best with the
ball in hand to claim 4 for 22.
At the annual sport awards ceremony of the Namibia National Sports Council Lennie Louw was
selected as the Namibian Coach of the Year 2000, which was a fitting honour to complete a
successful cricketing year for the national team.
In March 2001 the well-known MCC-team (Marylebone Cricket Club) from England, captained by
Simon Hinks, toured Namibia for a second time since independence. They played ten matches on
tour against Namibia A, Namibia u/23, Welwitschia XI (in Walvis Bay), Country Districts XI (in
Swakopmund), Blumfelde XI and five against the national team.
In the match against the Country Districts XI, national player, Rudi van Vuuren, took an excellent
5/14 in 9.2 overs. Their outing to the coast also ended in drama and almost tragedy when
opening batsman Charles Forward injured himself in a quad bike accident in the dunes to such
extent that he needed to be replaced by Andrew Strauss.
The match against the Blumfelde XI was played at Blumfelde in a relaxed and rustic atmosphere.
Two players from Northern Titans in S A, Johann Myburgh and Jacques Rudolph, strengthened
the home team. Entertaining cricket was seen from David Coetzee who scored 68 runs from only
39 balls and Lennie Louw with 69, also from only 39 balls. The Blumfelde XI reached their target
of 259 runs in 45 overs with seven wickets down to win the match by three wickets.
Prior to the match the MCC opening bowler, David Pryke, who previously played in SA, gave a
bowling display. His mind-boggling bowling style that puts his body in a tangle remained a site to
see throughout the tour. At the pre-match ceremony the MCC tour manager, Stephen Henderson,
thanked the official scoreboard operator, Dagga Engelbrecht, with the words: “Dagga, I once
smoked you and I still remember it”.
In the first match against the national team the MCC were dismissed for 80. The two regular
Namibian spinners were the best performers with Deon Kotzé taking 2 for 9 in eight overs, while
Lennie Louw took 2/14 in his ten overs. Namibia reached the target for the loss of three wickets,
ensuring victory by seven wickets. In the second match Namibia scored 152 runs batting first.
This time the MCC cruised to victory by nine wickets. In the next encounter the Namibian fastbowler,
Rudi van Vuuren, again reduced the MCC batsmen to tatters by claiming 3 for 11 in six
overs and limiting their innings to a meagre 64 runs. The see-saw ride continued with Namibia
this time the easy victors by six wickets. The fourth match against Namibia eventually produced a
decent score when the tourists reached 231 for the loss of seven wickets. Rain caused the match
to be abandoned after 17 overs in the Namibian innings with their score on 45 for four.
The final match was crucial for Namibia to ensure a series win and erase the memory of the
humiliating loss suffered against the tourist in 1991. The MCC scored 121 in their allotted 45
overs with the young Burton van Rooi taking a promising 4/27 in his nine overs. Namibia had a
seemingly easy run home but the opposing bowlers had other things in mind and they reduced
Namibia to 103 for 9 with the young and inexperienced tailenders Burton van Rooi and Rudi
Scholtz at the wicket. Rudi was in a similar situation in a Bowl match against WP earlier the
season and perhaps that made him the self assured steadying influence this time around or
perhaps it was the exuberance of youth that produced the goods. With only three balls remaining
Burton hit the winning runs to finish on 18* and along with his earlier bowling performance earned
him the Man of the Match award. This result ensured a 3 - 1 series victory (1 draw) and the
Player of the Series award also went to Burton van Rooi.
Immediately after the MCC visit Namibian cricketers were exposed to the next onslaught, when
the Scottish national team arrived in Windhoek for what was to be their final preparations for the
ICC Trophy tournament to be played in Canada in June 2001. They were to play two matches
against Namibian invitational sides.
In the first match Namibia batted first and scored a total of 229 runs for the loss of eight wickets
with the best contributions coming from Gavin Murgatroyd with 83 and 50 from the bat of Deon
Kotzé. The Scots scored 230 for the loss of seven wickets to win by three wickets. Their captain,
George Salmond, top-scoring with 57*. In the next match the following day Scotland batted first
and scored 140 all out. The best Namibian bowler was Rudi Scholtz who took 3 for 29 in his eight
overs bowled. Rain interfered with play and the Duckworth/Lewis system was used to determine
the required target for the Namibian team at 127 runs in 42 overs. Only 36.5 overs were needed
to score 131 for the loss of six wickets to beat the visitors by four wickets. The best performers
were Riaan Walters who scored 36 runs for Namibia and Dave Parsons being the pick of the
Scottish bowlers with 3/20 in 7 overs. This performance enhanced the belief that Namibian
cricketers were able to participate against international opposition at ICC associate level which
they ultimately proved in the 2001 ICC Trophy tournament in Canada. (see chapter 4 for details
on ICC Trophy tournaments).
The domestic 2001/02 cricket season again opened with a quadrangular tournament involving the
same teams as the previous year, namely Namibia, Western Province Academy, Boland
Academy and SA Correctional Services. The former SA national and world-renowned coach, Bob
Woolmer, arrived in Namibia to assist the home team with its preparations.
The first match against WP Academy was highlighted by the performances of Melt van Schoor,
with 50*, and Lennie Louw who took four wickets for 18 runs in his ten overs. In the second match
against the SA Correctional Services it was the evergreen Gavin Murgatroyd who scored an
excellent 169* from just 116 balls faced. The economical bowling of Deon Kotzé in this match is
worth mentioning when he only conceded 23 runs in his ten overs and also claiming one wicket.
Boland Academy, who was also unbeaten at that stage, was the next side to crumble before the
home team. J B Burger scored a quickfire 89* from 59 balls and Darren Seager added 58 runs.
Bowling-wise Deon Kotzé again tied the opposition batsmen down, this time taking 2/20 in his ten
overs. Namibia reached the final with an unbeaten record where they were to face Boland
Academy again. This time around they produced an even better performance than in the roundrobin
clash when they crushed the hapless Bolanders by eight wickets. The best Namibian
performers in the final were Riaan Walters (65*) and Burton van Rooi (5/33). Throughout the
whole tournament the Namibian fielding was impressive, while they also batted at a staggering
average of 5.1 runs per over in their four matches during the tournament.
The first match in the 2001/02 Bowl competition was against Western Province B in Windhoek. In
Namibia’s first innings, Marius van der Merwe scored 65 runs while the left-arm spin-bowler from
the visitors, Paul Harris, continued where he left off the previous season, when he took 6/60 in
32.4 overs in the Namibian second innings. WP B won the match by four wickets.
Other opponents in the competition were Griqualand West B, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Inland B,
Boland B, Eastern Province B and Free State B. Namibia achieved double victories (in both the
three-day and one-day matches) against Griquas and the KZN Inland teams, while they also
conquered EP B in the one-day competition - overall a much improved performance than the
initial struggles of the previous three seasons.
Again the star batsman was Gavin Murgatroyd, this time scoring a century and four fifties in
three-day competition and a century and two fifties in the one-day matches. His successes were
183 against Griquas, 95 and 58 against Boland, 77* against WP and 54 against FS in the threeday
matches, and 102* against Griquas, 84* against EP and 67* against KZN in the one-day
format of the competition.
He was ably supported in the three-dayers by Riaan Walters with 51* against KZN, 76 against
Griquas and 84 against EP, Marius van der Merwe with 56* against Griquas and 65 against WP,
J B Burger with 54 against Griquas and 59 against FS, Sarel Burger with 84* against EP, Danie
Keulder with 70 against FS and Deon Kotzé with 53* against Griquas. In the one-day competition
Danie Keulder with 66 against KZN and 78 against EP and Deon Kotzé with 53* against Griquas
also weighed in with good performances.
Rudi van Vuuren was undoubtedly the pick of the Namibian bowlers in the three-day competition
with figures of 6/42 against EP, 4/40 against Griquas and 4/48 against KZN. Another notable
bowling performance came from Björn Kotzé who took 5 for 32 in the match against the KZN
team. He also produced the best bowling in the one-day competition in the match against Griquas
where he took 4/28.
Noteworthy performances against Namibia in the three-day matches came from EP batsmen
Wayne Murray (101) and Murray Creed (101*) while opposition batsmen also scored ten fifties,
from Kosie Venter, 81, and Johann van der Wath, 67, both for FS, James Brooker, 68 for
Griquas, R Maron, 72 for WP, and Brendon Ess, 88 for Boland, amongst others. In the bowling
department the best opposition achievements were Paul Harris’ mentioned 6/60 for WP, G
Hayward taking 5/36 for EP and Kenny Jackson who took 5/60 for Boland. In the one-day
competition one century was scored against Namibia from the bat of Sarel Meyer who scored 104
for Griquas, while his teammate A van Vuuren produced the best bowling against Namibia with
figures of 4/47.
At the end of March 2002 the SA Country Districts’ team visited Namibia for a series of matches.
This team had a good reputation as worthy opponents mainly through the able patronage of
Dennis Carlstein (from Natal) who has been “father” of the team for the past two decades.
An unbeaten 91 from Namibian Sarel Burger highlighted the first match. In the next match J B
Burger equalled this score of 91 from only 61 balls faced, while Gavin Murgatroyd also missed
out on a century, being dismissed for 98. The best was however yet to come, with Namibian
bowler, Rudi van Vuuren, finishing with bowling figures of 10-3-28-7. The fourth match saw Riaan
Walters contributing 75 and Marius van der Merwe 62* with the bat, while Björn Kotzé took 4/38
with the ball. In the fourth and final match Namibia produced a batting display par excellence. In
their allotted 45 overs they amassed an incredible 327 for the loss of eight wickets. J B Burger
scored the highest one-day score of any Namibian batsman to date, namely 219*, from just 131
balls. His innings included 16 fours and twelve sixes. Needless to say, Namibia finished the
series with an emphatic 4 - 0 whitewash against the visitors.
At this stage the ICC decided on an emerging nations’ tournament in an effort to make the upand-
coming cricket nations of the world more competitive in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. The
honour of hosting this tournament was bestowed on Namibia. Bob Woolmer, who had in the
meantime been appointed as the first ICC High Performance Manager, headed this initiative. A
team of experts comprising Dermot Reeve, a one-day international specialist, wicket-keeping
specialist Richie Ryall, sports psychologist Clinton Gahweiler, eye specialist Sheryl Calder and
the nutritionists Shelly Meltzer and Cecily Fuller, came to assist Woolmer in advising and
coaching the competing nations. The teams who participated in this inaugural event were ICC
Associate members, Namibia, the Netherlands, Canada and Kenya, together with Sri Lanka A
and Zimbabwe A. The two A-teams included several full international players, in an attempt to
prepare them for the forthcoming World Cup in 2003 and also to provide top-class exposure to
the players from the Associate member countries. The ICC match referee, Wasim Raja, and one
of the elite panel of umpires from the ICC, Rudi Koertzen from SA, were amongst the nominated
umpires for this tournament, while two Namibian umpires, Hennie Venter and Jeff Luck, were also
selected to do duty in the tournament. All the terms and conditions for the 2003 Cricket World
Cup were applied to make this tournament a replica of the prestige event to follow a year onward.
The Namibian squad consisted of Deon Kotzé (captain), Danie Keulder, Gavin Murgatroyd, Riaan
Walters, Marius van der Merwe, Björn Kotzé, Melt van Schoor, Louis Burger, Sarel Burger, J B
Burger, Morné Karg, Rudi van Vuuren, Gerrie Snyman and player-coach Lennie Louw, manager
Francois Erasmus and physiotherapist Alec Bragg. Eric Simons, from SA, assisted the team as
technical advisor. He became the SA National coach a few weeks later, thus his appointment as
technical advisor to the Namibian team for the 2003 World Cup did not materialise.
The first Namibian match, against Sri Lanka A, filled the Wanderers Cricket Ground to capacity
when an estimated 3 500 spectators turned up to watch this unique cricket event in Windhoek.
Namibia batted first and scored 182 runs all out with the best scores coming from Riaan Walters
with 48 and 41 from Danie Keulder 41. Richira Perera was the main opposition strike force in
claiming five Namibian scalps for a mere 16 runs in 9.2 overs. Sri Lanka comfortably reached the
target in 35.4 overs, winning the match by seven wickets, with Aviska Gunawardena top-scoring
with 83 from 66 balls.
Namibia lost their second match to Zimbabwe by a mere seven runs. The Zimbabwean opening
batsman, Charles (“Chuck”) Coventry scored 89 runs from 68 balls in their total of 188 runs. Björn
Kotzé, Rudi van Vuuren and Sarel Burger each took two wickets. Namibia came tantalizingly
close to reach 181 runs before being dismissed with Deon Kotzé’s 41 and Riaan Walters’ 39
being the best batting contributions. Douglas Marillier had the best return of the Zimbabwean
bowling effort by taking 3/25.
In their next match against Canada Namibia came even more closer to victory when the
Canadians scored the winning run off the very last ball of the match to clinch victory by two
wickets. Namibia batted first and scored 170 runs with Riaan Walters 31 and Gavin Murgatroyd
23 top-scoring. The visitor’s captain, Sanjay Thuraisingham, took three wickets for the loss of 37
runs. Consolation for Namibia came in the form of the Man of the Match award that went to
Lennie Louw who bowled a magnificent spell of 10 overs with 5 maidens and claiming 3 wickets
for 8 runs.
The match against the Netherlands saw Namibia batting first to reach a total of 235 for the loss of
six wickets in their allotted 50 overs with three batsmen sharing the bulk of the runs, Deon Kotze
50* (51 balls), Gavin Murgatroyd 49 and Marius van der Merwe 46. The match was interrupted by
rain and the Duckworth-Lewis revised target for the Netherlands was 212 runs in 36 overs. They
were dismissed for 150 which resulted in a 62-run victory for Namibia. Their best batsmen were
Tim de Leede with 63 while Björn Kotzé took four for 43 in the best Namibian bowling
Namibia’s last match was against Kenya, an experienced team with international one-day status
who had already featured in the previous World Cup in 1999. Kenya scored 215 for the loss of
nine wickets in their 50 overs with the best contributions from the brothers, Kennedy and Collins
Obuya, who scored 56 and 45 runs respectively - a third brother, David, was also in the Kenyan
squad (they were previously known under the surname Otieno). The best Namibian bowlers were
Rudi van Vuuren, who took three wickets for the loss of 34 runs, and Louis Burger with two
wickets for 23 runs. Namibia then had the big crowd at the United Club Ground on their feet when
they successfully chased the 216 victory target. Rudi van Vuuren brought ecstasy and delight to
the crowd, his team and the whole country when he scored the winning runs with a six of the
second last ball of the game. Namibia grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat because they were
already nine wickets down! The best Namibian batsmen were Morné Karg, with 61 sparkling runs,
of which the majority was scored with a runner after a hamstring injury, Gavin Murgatroyd with 53
and Deon Kotzé with 41 runs. This was Namibia’s first ever victory over Kenya and there were
boisterous celebrations all around the field. The best Kenyan bowler was Thomas Odoyo, who
took five wickets for only 27 runs in his 10 overs. Morné Karg’s heroics with the bat brought him
the Man of the Match award.
Sri Lanka A and Kenya finished top of the pile after the round-robin stages and they contested a
close-fought final at the Wanderers Cricket Ground. Sri Lanka A scoring 211 for four in their 50
overs. Kenya achieved the desired target in 48 overs for the loss of seven wickets to win by three.
The Man of the Match was appropriately Steve Tikolo, who as winning captain also received the
winner’s Trophy from Laurie Pieters, the President of the Namibia Cricket Board. The Player of
the Tournament award went to the Zimbabwean, Douglas Marillier who topped the batting-list in
the tournament with 222 runs, while Maurice Odumbe of Kenya took the most wickets, 12 in total.
The final order of the participating teams were Kenya, Sri Lanka A, Zimbabwe A, Namibia, the
Netherlands and Canada.
The Namibia Cricket Board were congratulated on their good organisation and presentation of the
tournament. For the national team this was also a very important occasion since it gave them
their first “real” international competition and exposure.
The next step in their preparation for the 2003 World Cup in South Africa will be to play in the
2002/03 SA Standard Bank Cup limited overs competition against the top SA provincial sides.
Indeed something to look forward to!
Spreading our wings - ICC Trophy Tournaments
Since Sri Lanka won the first ICC Trophy tournament in England back in 1979, this tournament
has grown tremendously in stature, becoming a milestone that all up and coming cricket nations
aspire to. After Sri Lanka’s success in the first tournament Zimbabwe started dominating the
show, being crowned as champions in 1982, 1986 and 1990.
ABN Amro ICC Trophy, Kenya 1994
Namibia’s first participation in an ICC Trophy tournament as an Associate Member of the
International Cricket Council was in February 1994 when the First National Bank (FNB) Namibian
team took part in the ABN Amro ICC Trophy Tournament in Kenya. The tournament was won by
the United Arab Emirates beating the home team Kenya in the final.
Namibia formed part of Group C together with the likes of the host nation Kenya, Canada,
Singapore and Israel. The total budget for Namibia’s participation was approximately N$208 500,
the biggest sponsorship coming from First National Bank of Namibia, whilst the Ministry of Youth
and Sport also contributed to enable participation. The side was captained by Lennie Louw, whilst
Attie Badenhorst was the coach and George Vink accompanied the team as manager. The other
members of the squad were Etienne Brits, Mark Barnard, Trevor Britten, Norman Curry, Wayne
Ackerman, Andy Fallis, Deon Karg, Danie Keulder, Deon Kotzé, Martin Martins, Gavin
Murgatroyd, André Smith, Ian van Schoor and Melt van Schoor, the wicketkeeper.
Another well-respected member of the touring party was umpire Louis van Reenen, who turned
out to be an enormous success, being rated amongst the top two umpires in the tournament.
Louis could unfortunately not officiate during the final as an African country was one of the
finalists. However, he stood as umpire in the third place play-off match between the Netherlands
and Bermuda (for an interesting incident in this match see chapter 8).
In general Namibia’s first ever participation in an ICC Trophy tournament could be regarded as a
big success, with the team winning the plate final and the Philip Snow trophy after beating the
strong team of Denmark. Although there were many stars and an excellent team spirit in the
Namibian camp, Gavin Murgatroyd in particular excelled and was voted Player of the
Tournament. Not only did Gavin bowl magnificently, ending in second place after O Mortensen of
Denmark, with a bowling average of 10.26 runs per wicket, he also shared the honours for taking
the most wickets (19) in the tournament with F Arua of Papua New Guinea. Gavin also performed
well with the willow, ending 13th on the list of top run scorers with a total of 287 runs scored at an
average of 46.17. Captain Lennie Louw was, however, not to be outdone, taking 12 wickets at an
average of 13.75 runs per wicket. The best fourth wicket partnership of the tournament came
from Gavin Murgatroyd and Martin Martins, who piled up an excellent 152 runs in the match
against Israel. The team’s overall success was underlined in a letter presented to them by the
Honourable Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Namibia, in
which she wrote: “Thank you for holding the banner of our country high.”
Namibia prepared for their participation in the Kenyan tournament by engaging in friendly
matches against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Denmark. The
match against the UAE took place at the Jaffery Sports Club on 8 February 1994 and was won by
the Emirates by five wickets. Andy Fallis batted well for Namibia and scored a splendid 57 runs
before being run out, whilst the ever dangerous Wayne Ackerman knocked a fine 47 runs.
Namibia managed 201/8 in their allotted 50 overs. The Emirates responded well to the challenge
and passed the Namibian score in the 46th over with only five men back in the pavilion. R
Poonawala was the biggest thorn in Namibian flesh, scoring a fine 91 off 120 deliveries. Trevor
Britten bowled well for Namibia and ended up with figures of 8-2-38-2.
In the second warm-up match the Namibians faced PNG at the Sir Ali Muslim Sports Club the
following day. Again the Namibians won the toss but this time elected to field first. They restricted
the South Sea islanders to 212 for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs, the best bowling coming
from Gavin Murgatroyd (2/23), Lennie Louw (2/24) and Trevor Britten (2/58). A Noka (39) and W
Maha (35) were Papua’s best batsmen. Chasing a target of 213 for victory the Namibians lost by
only two runs, being all out with the last ball of the final over. Captain Lennie Louw was a pillar of
strength in the middle order, hitting a fine 49 before being run out, whilst other good contributions
came from Gavin Murgatroyd (34), Melt van Schoor (28) and Wayne Ackerman (24*).
At the Ngara Sports Club the FNB Namibian team played their third and last friendly against
Denmark on 10 February 1994. After winning the toss, the Danish batsmen knocked up a most
challenging 279 runs for the loss of six wickets in their 50 overs at a run rate of 5.58 per over. J
Gregerson (90) and F Vestergaard (77) in particular, made a meal of it with the bat. Gavin
Murgatroyd once again spearheaded the Namibian bowling effort, taking 2/50 on a true batting
pitch. The Namibian batsmen thereafter accepted the challenge and did exceptionally well,
reaching 281 for the loss of six wickets with four balls to spare. Captain Lennie Louw lead by
example and scored a whirlwind unbeaten 75 runs off just 52 balls. He was well supported by a
mature innings from Deon Karg (43) and a quick-fire 38 from Norman Curry. This final warm-up
match set the scene for bigger things to come and Namibia was ready to fire in their first ever ICC
Their first Group C round robin match was against the strong Canadian team at the Nairobi
Sports Club on 14 February 1994. Namibia, being asked by the Canadian skipper to bat first,
unfortunately failed dismally and was bundled out for a mere 51 runs in just 16.3 overs. Bhowan
Singh caused havoc among the Namibian batsmen claiming 7/21 off eight overs. Only one
Namibian batsman could manage double figures – opening bowler André Smith scored an
unbeaten 15 runs from just as many deliveries in the number eleven position. The Canadian
batsmen rubbed salt into the Namibian wounds, utilising only 11.5 overs to reach the score of 52
without loss, with Liburd and Prashad the unbeaten batsmen. After their fine batting performance
in the final warm-up match against Denmark, the Namibians were brought back to earth with a
bump in Nairobi and it was back to the drawing board for the rest of the round robin fixtures.
Singapore was Namibia’s next opponent at the Ngara Sports Club two days later. Lennie Louw
won the toss and decided that Namibia would field first on a pitch that promised some assistance
to Namibia’s pace attack. Wayne Ackerman (3/20), Gavin Murgatroyd (2/19) and Martin Martins
(2/19) gave the unknown Singapore batsmen a torrid time, restricting them to 116 all out in 38.1
overs. S Muruthi was their best batsman, scoring a patient 29 runs off 64 deliveries. Although
Namibia lost the wicket of Etienne Brits with only eight runs on the board, they recovered well and
reached the winning total of 117 for the loss of five wickets in the 33rd over. Deon Karg scored a
well-deserved half-century, ably supported by Andy Fallis (26). This was Namibia’s first ever
victory in an ICC Trophy match and spirits were high in the Namibian camp.
On 18 February 1994 FNB Namibia met the host nation, Kenya at the Simba Union Sports Club.
The experienced Kenyans were sent in to bat by Namibia and the Namibian bowlers did very well
to restrict the home team to 198 all out in their allotted 50 overs. This was the only time in the
tournament the Kenyans were bowled out for less than 200 runs. The well-known Steve Tikolo
batted well for Kenya at number three, scoring 47 runs before being caught by Melt van Schoor
behind the stumps off the bowling of André Smith. Lennie Louw finished with bowling figures of
10-2-27-3, whilst Smith and Gavin Murgatroyd took two wickets apiece. The target unfortunately
proved to be slightly too stiff for the Namibian batsmen and they were dismissed for 178 runs with
two balls remaining in the final over. The biggest blow was probably losing both their opening
batsmen, Brits and Fallis, with the total on two runs. Namibia’s best contributions with the bat
came from Deon Karg (51), who was forced to adapt to the role of opener after losing those two
early wickets and passed the test with flying colours, and Martin Martins (35), whilst R Ali (3/38)
and A Karim (3/34) did the most damage with the ball for Kenya.
In their final Group C round robin match the Namibians faced up to another unknown entity,
Israel. Namibia won the toss at the Impala Sports Club and elected to bat. After losing their first
three wickets with only 41 runs on the board, Gavin Murgatroyd and Martin Martins joined forces
at the crease and compiled the best fourth wicket partnership of the tournament (152 runs).
Murgatroyd ended with 93 off 98 deliveries, which included 12 fours and a six, whilst Martins
contributed a fine 56 runs off 78 balls. The Namibian team reached 257/9 in their 50 overs. R
Ashton (3/41) and S Raj (3/36) bowled well for Israel. Despite a fine knock of 92 runs from just 82
balls by N Ward, Israel could only manage 198 all out, resulting in Namibia winning the match by
59 runs. Martin Martins bowled extremely accurately and economically, ending with figures of 10-
0-19-3, whilst Ian van Schoor and Trevor Britten each took a couple. Namibia finished off the
round robin stage of the tournament in fine style and would now face the likes of Fiji, Papua New
Guinea and Argentina in the plate competition.
The Ngara Sports Ground was the venue for Namibia’s first match in the plate competition, taking
on the strong Fijian eleven on 24 February 1994. Fiji won the toss and elected to bat on what
seemed to be a good batting strip. Despite a good batting effort from opener J Rouse (61), Fiji
could only manage 139 all out in 47.3 overs. Lennie Louw and Trevor Britten terrorised the Fijian
batting line-up, taking 3/17 and 3/30 respectively, whilst Gavin Murgatroyd was once again
amongst the wickets, this time claiming 2/25. The Namibian batsmen started off in fine style with
Danie Keulder taking over as opening batsman and scoring an excellent 78 runs off 104
deliveries. Deon Karg once again put in a solid performance at number three, scoring a quick 40*
and helping Namibia to a score of 142/2 in 37.2 overs.
The following match against Papua New Guinea (PNG) two days later was played at the Jaffery
Sports Club and brought mixed success for the Namibians. Despite brilliant individual efforts by
Gavin Murgatroyd with the ball (9-0-31-4) and bat (43 off 51 balls), and Lennie Louw’s ever
consistent batting, scoring 67 off only 63 balls, Namibia lost the match by a mere 10 runs. Batting
first the PNG batsmen were all out in exactly 50 overs for 227 with W Maha top scoring with 41.
Apart from Murgatroyd’s excellent figures, Wayne Ackerman (2/19), Lennie Louw (2/39) and
Trevor Britten (2/44) also impressed with the ball. The Namibians’ experiment to open the batting
with keeper Melt van Schoor did not pay off, with both openers walking back to the pavilion
without reaching double figures. Apart from the mentioned efforts by Murgatroyd and Louw, Deon
Karg also had a fine knock, contributing 29 runs before being trapped leg before wicket by T Ao.
Despite the loss, the Namibians took much pride in this performance and approached their last
plate match with confidence.
On 28 February 1994 the Impala Sports Club proved to be a disastrous venue for the Argentinian
cricket side as they lost convincingly to Namibia by 135 runs. Being put in to bat by Argentina,
FNB Namibia scored a fine 247 for the loss of seven wickets in their 50 overs. Again Lennie Louw
batted impressively for his 62 runs, backed by good knocks from Martin Martins (49), Andy Fallis
(38) and Melt van Schoor (30). L Jooris was Argentina’s best bowler, taking 3/48 in 10 overs.
Hereafter Argentina felt the full force of Namibia’s bowling attack, Gavin Murgatroyd (7-1-18-3)
and Ian van Schoor (3.2-0-11-2) were particularly impressive. Argentina was dismissed for 112
runs in 41.2 overs, putting the Namibians in the right frame of mind for what was to follow.
The strong teams of Papua New Guinea and the USA qualified to meet one another in the plate
final, but Lady Luck smiled on Namibia as both qualifying teams were unable to play in the final
because of their flight schedules. This meant that Namibia met Denmark in the plate final,
contesting the much sought-after Philip Snow trophy. Denmark won the toss at the Premier
Sports Club and asked Namibia to bat first. A quick-fire century from Gavin Murgatroyd (106 from
89 balls), backed by a responsible 51 from opener Andy Fallis, helped Namibia to an excellent
total of 262 for eight in their allotted 50 overs. M Seider bowled well for Denmark and ended with
3/56 in 10 overs. The Danish batsmen started off well in pursuit of the target but then collapsed
from 95/3 to 115/6, with Gavin Murgatroyd once again playing a major role with the ball. He
finished with figures of 8.5-1-40-3, cementing his position as Player of the Tournament. He was
well supported by Lennie Louw (2/15) and Ian van Schoor (2/21).
Namibia’s first ever participation in an ICC Trophy tournament thus ended on a high note,
bringing the Philip Snow trophy back home to beautiful Namibia.
Carlsberg ICC Trophy, Kuala Lumpur 1997
Kuala Lumpur was the venue for the Carlsberg ICC Trophy tournament played in March and April
1997. Expectations were high in the Namibian camp after their fine performance three years
previously in Kenya. The touring party, captained by Ian Stevenson, consisted of a combination of
experience and youth, with Francois Erasmus managing the team, Neil Lenham as coach and Dr
Danie Jordaan as team doctor. Lenham put in a lot of effort to properly prepare the Namibian
team for the tournament, but he had to leave Kuala Lumpur before the end of the tournament to
meet cricket obligations in England - NCB member, Louis Fick, then joined the team in a stand-in
capacity. Apart from captain Stevenson, the rest of the squad was Danie Keulder, Gavin
Murgatroyd, Mark Barnard, Deon Kotzé, Wayne Ackerman, Melt van Schoor, Morné Karg, Rudi
van Vuuren, Ian van Schoor, David (“Lam”) Coetzee, Darren Seager, Jackie Thirion and Björn
Once again a Namibian umpire had the opportunity to stand in this prestigious tournament, the
honour this time going to Kudu Kruger, a well-respected umpire in Namibian cricket circles.
Amongst others Mr Kruger officiated in a match between Ireland and Bangladesh, where rain
played a major role and he was forced to stop the match during the Bangladesh innings, much to
the disappointment of the crowd. When he later wanted to return to the pitch for an inspection he
was prevented from doing so by the unhappy supporters who wanted to stone him. This was
indeed an unhappy and unnecessary incident, especially considering that no match in the
tournament could finish that day due to the weather conditions.
In general the 1997 ICC Trophy tournament was one that Namibians would prefer to forget. In the
wet and humid conditions in Kuala Lumpur and on artificial pitches, the Namibians could not
reach the same level of play produced during the Kenya tournament and almost all the players
struggled to adapt to the playing conditions. Rudi van Vuuren was probably Namibia’s most
successful player of the tournament, playing with a broken thumb and finishing eighth out of a
total of 353 bowlers on the overall bowling list for the tournament. Bangladesh eventually
emerged as the winner with Kenya the runner up.
Namibia impressed during their two warm-up matches in Malaysia. In their outing against West
Africa they won by five wickets, restricting the West Africans to 91 all out. Gavin Murgatroyd (2/8),
Björn Kotzé (2/13) and Deon Kotzé (2/16) were Namibia’s best bowlers. The batsmen hereafter
scored 92/5, ensuring victory by five wickets. Namibia’s best batting came from Danie Keulder
(39) and Deon Kotzé (20*). Namibia built on this good performance and faced the strong Irish
team in their second and final warm-up match. David Coetzee (3/23), Rudi van Vuuren (2/13) and
Wayne Ackerman (2/11) restricted Ireland to 106 all out. Namibia replied to this with a fine 107/4,
with Gavin Murgatroyd contributing 28 and Danie Keulder 21. The Namibians looked in fine
shape and were ready to fire on all cylinders.
The Namibian team, helped by Pescanova, Skefko and the Namibia National Sports Council
towards a total budget of N$345 630, shared a place in Group C with East and Central Africa, the
Netherlands, Canada and Fiji. Their first round robin match of the tournament was played on 25
March 1997 at the Tenaga National Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur, against the strong team of
the Netherlands, captained by Tim de Leede. After winning the toss captain Ian Stevenson
decided to bat first with disastrous results. At one stage Namibia had 29 runs for the loss of seven
wickets on the board and faced the humiliation of being bowled out for less than 50 runs. Veteran
batsman Wayne Ackerman came to the rescue, hitting a patient 36 runs from 88 balls at number
eight, allowing Namibia to reach 90 all out in 48.5 overs. K A Khan was the best Dutch bowler,
taking 4/24 in 10 overs, whilst Roland Lefebvre took 3/14 in 9.5 overs. David Coetzee (12) was
the only other Namibian batsman to reach double figures. The Netherlands knocked off the
required runs in just 23.5 overs with both opening batsmen still at the crease. Roland Lefebvre,
the well-deserved man of the match, was unbeaten on 35, whilst Tim de Leede had 46 behind his
name. Mark Barnard was Namibia’s most economical bowler, conceding only 13 runs in his
Namibia’s next encounter was against Canada at the Kelab Aman Stadium in Kuala Lumpur the
very next day. After their poor batting performance of the previous day they decided to put the
Canadians in to bat first. Despite good bowling performances by Rudi van Vuuren (10-2-55-3)
and Ian van Schoor (10-0-44-3), Canada made a respectable 264/8 in 50 overs, with the best
contributions coming from M Diwan (125), B E A Rajadurai (62) and captain I Liburd (53). The
Namibians put up a slightly better batting performance, but still only managed 204 runs all out in
43.2 overs. Danie Keulder led the batting campaign with a fine 41, well supported by Gavin
Murgatroyd (37), Ian Stevenson (25), Deon Kotzé (25) and Melt van Schoor (25*). Canada won
by 60 runs and their centurion M Diwan was elected man of the match.
An incident from this match that will be treasured by many was the addition to team talk attributed
to Mark Barnard. As the Canadians slaughtered the Namibian attack Mark was retrieving the ball
after it was hit out of the park for about the third huge six. When he picked up the ball a security
guard confronted him with: “Are you a member here?” whereupon Mark had some explaining to
do. Afterwards “Hey, you’re a member here?” became standard team talk whenever an opposing
batsman took maximum from a Namibian bowler.
At this stage the pressure was building in the Namibian camp and they had to win their third
match, against East and Central Africa at Perbadanan Kemajuan Negari Selangor Stadium, at all
costs to have any say left in the tournament. The match was played on 28 March 1997 and East
and Central Africa was sent in to bat by the Namibian skipper, Ian Stevenson. The Namibian
bowlers put in a good all-round performance, sharing seven wickets between them, whilst good
fielding took care of the remaining three. Rudi van Vuuren (9.1-2-13-2) and Danie Keulder (10-3-
22-2) had the best bowling figures of the Namibian bowlers. East and Central Africa were all out
for 143 in 48.1 overs, despite brave batting efforts from B Musoke (30) and C M Gomm (29). The
Namibian opening batting pair of Morné Karg and Ian Stevenson unfortunately fell quickly and
with the score on 9/2 another defeat was looming. Deon Kotzé (37) and Melt van Schoor (32*)
saved the day for Namibia, producing stylish batting performances and helping Namibia to a total
of 144/9 in 46.5 overs. Apart from his good batting performance Melt van Schoor also did
particularly well behind the stumps, dismissing two opposition batsmen with fine catches. He
received the man of the match award for this effort.
Namibia’s poor batting form unfortunately continued in their match against Fiji, played at the
Royal Selangor Club in Bukit Kiara the next day. Ian Stevenson, who had been struggling with a
hip injury for the best part of the tournament, was replaced as opening batsman by Darren
Seager, whilst Danie Keulder took over the captaincy. Once again the players had difficulties to
cope with the weather conditions. Fiji batted first and only managed 178/6 in 50 overs, mainly due
to excellent attacking bowling from Rudi van Vuuren (10-1-39-4). N D Maxwell top-scored for the
Fijians with 28 runs. The Namibian top order batsmen collapsed dramatically, losing their seventh
wicket with only 22 runs on the board. Ian van Schoor showed a lot of character in his unbeaten
knock of 21 runs, but Namibia was bundled out for only 73 runs in 33.5 overs. Fijian opening
bowler A Tawatatau ripped through the Namibian batting line-up, ending with figures of 10-6-9-4.
He was a popular choice as man of the match. For the Namibians it was back to the drawing
board and new captain Danie Keulder was faced with the mammoth task of pulling the team
together and leading them towards recovery.
The round robin matches were something of the past and Namibia had only managed one win –
against East and Central Africa by one wicket. The team was, however, desperate to save face
against Papua New Guinea and the host nation Malaysia in the plate competition matches to
The match against Papua New Guinea took place on 1 April 1997 at the University of Malaya in
Kuala Lumpur. Namibia fought bravely and gave a good account of themselves, losing narrowly
by five runs. PNG captain V Pala won the toss and elected to bat. The Namibian bowlers were
fired up and even in the absence of Rudi van Vuuren, restricted PNG to 134 all out in 27.3 overs.
Captain Pala made 39 runs, earning him the man of the match award, whilst Mark Barnard (5.3-0-
18-3) and David Coetzee (7-0-24-3) were the pick of the Namibian bowlers. Namibia then fell just
five runs short of the target, being bowled out for 129 in 47.5 overs. Ian Stevenson played well for
his 32 runs, but was not supported sufficiently by his fellow top order batsmen.
Namibia saved the best for last and played their final match in the Carlsberg ICC Trophy 1997
competition against Malaysia at the Tenaga National Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur. Danie
Keulder won the toss and sent Malaysia in to bat first. Rudi van Vuuren once again spearheaded
the Namibian attack, taking 4/27 in 8.3 overs. Danie Keulder (2/19) and Deon Kotzé (2/16) also
delivered the goods with ball in hand. Mark Barnard was a surprise choice to open the batting
with Ian Stevenson and scored a fine 19 before being dismissed with the score on 25. Keulder
top-scored with 45, including six fours, whilst Stevenson (29) and Gavin Murgatroyd (29*) also
excelled with the bat. Namibia won convincingly by seven wickets and finished a dismal
tournament from their perspective on a high note. It was a tough tournament in many respects,
one that the Namibian team undoubtedly learned a lot from to apply in years to come.
ICC Trophy, Toronto, Canada 2001
The 2001 ICC Trophy tournament was staged in Toronto, Canada and was by far the most vital of
the three tournaments that the Namibians participated in. At stake was the opportunity for the
countries finishing in the top three positions to participate in the ICC World Cup 2003 to be hosted
by South Africa. The Namibians worked very hard on their form beforehand and captain Danie
Keulder managed to build an excellent team spirit. The team received a welcome sponsorship
from Virgin Atlantic gymnasium during May 2001 and a most successful fundraising dinner raised
the amount of N$132 870.
Apart from captain Keulder, the Namibian touring party consisted of Riaan Walters, Stephan
Swanepoel, Gavin Murgatroyd, J B Burger, Deon Kotzé, Morné Karg, Melt van Schoor, Lennie
Louw, Björn Kotzé, Rudi van Vuuren, Burton van Rooi, Rudi Scholtz and Louis Burger. Team
management was once again in the capable hands of Francois Erasmus, a highly respected
servant of the game in Namibia. Lennie Louw’s talent and vast experience were not only called
upon as player; he was also the official Namibian coach to this tournament, while the Australian
Alec Bragg was the team’s physiotherapist. As was the case with Namibia’s participation in the
two previous ICC Trophy tournaments, an umpire also accompanied the team. This time former
Namibian all-rounder Jeff Luck had the opportunity and he gained the respect of the participating
teams through his efficiency and warm personality.
The format for the 2001 ICC Trophy tournament showed a slight change to that of the previous
ones. Twenty-four teams participated in the tournament, divided into two divisions. Each division
was sub-divided into two groups. Namibia formed part of Group A of Division 2, together with
Nepal, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy and West Africa. Unfortunately Italy and West Africa failed to
show up at the tournament and the remaining teams in the group earned two points from the
walkover results. All teams in a particular group first played each other in a round robin format.
The winners of Group A and Group B in Division 2 then played against the teams ending fourth in
Group A and Group B of Division 1 in order to determine the eight teams qualifying for the Super
Namibia once again showed their class in the warm-up matches, the first of which was played
against France at the Eglinton Flats West Ground in Toronto on 25 June 2001. France won the
toss and elected to bat, but surely regretted their decision when they found themselves on 29/6 at
an early stage of their innings. The Namibian bowlers were in devastating form and the French
were all back in the pavilion after 33.3 overs, having reached a total of 74 runs. Only two batsmen
managed double figures, namely Ayyavooraju (15) and Linton (12). Six Namibian bowlers shared
the honours, namely Björn Kotzé (2/11), Louis Burger (2/21), Lennie Louw (2/6), Deon Kotzé
(2/11), Rudi van Vuuren (1/4) and Burton van Rooi (1/10). The Namibian batsmen went about
chasing this total in fine fashion, hitting the winning runs from the third ball of the 21st over with
Riaan Walters (39*) and Gavin Murgatroyd (3*) at the crease. Captain Danie Keulder made a
useful 23 runs before being stumped by wicketkeeper Hussain. The only successful French
bowlers were S Hewawalandanage (1/8) and L Brumant (1/19). This eight-wicket victory put the
Namibians in the right frame of mind for what was to follow.
The next day Namibia played their second and last warm-up match against Malaysia at the Maple
Leaf North-Central Ground in Toronto. Namibia was once again impressive with the ball and
restricted Malaysia to 153/8 in their allotted 50 overs. Björn Kotzé (10-1-41-3) and Rudi Scholtz
(10-3-28-3) were the pick of the Namibian bowlers. Yazid Imran top scored for Malaysia with 35
runs, whilst M A Muniandy (29) also gave the Namibians a good run for their money. In Namibia’s
innings Riaan Walters followed up his solid performance of the previous day with an even more
polished 72 runs, which included nine fours and a six. Morné Karg also showed promising form
and scored a fine unbeaten 22. Namibia managed 154/5 in 39.5 overs and subsequently won the
match by five wickets. Malaysia’s best bowler was Cheo Pok Cheong, who claimed 2/31 in seven
overs. Namibia looked to be in fine form and were ready for their official round robin matches.
The Malton Cricket Club in Toronto was the venue for Namibia’s first Division 2 Group A round
robin match of the tournament – against a relatively unknown German side. Germany’s captain
Abdul Hamid Bhatti won the toss on the morning of 30 June 2001 and decided that his batsmen
would occupy the crease first. His side experienced the full fury of a well balanced Namibian
bowling attack and they were bowled out for just 105 runs in 45.5 overs. M Brodersen provided
some respectability to the German innings with a well played 30 at number four, before being
given out leg before wicket to Björn Kotzé. Four Namibian bowlers shared the honours with two
wickets each, Rudi van Vuuren being the most economical with his analysis of 8-3-14-2. Björn
Kotzé (2/19), Lennie Louw (2/22) and Deon Kotzé (2/20) were the others. Namibia’s batsmen
went about their task in fine fashion, knocking off the target in 21.1 overs and in the process only
losing the wicket of Riaan Walters for 14. Danie Keulder and J B Burger were the not-out
batsmen contributing 52 and 38 respectively.
Two days later on 2 July Namibia met Nepal at the Eglinton Flats West Ground in Toronto for
their second round robin match and it proved to be almost a replica of the match against
Germany. Nepal batted first after winning the toss and were thoroughly tied up by accurate and
positive Namibian bowling. Nepal managed 131 for seven in their 50 overs, with J P Sharraf
contributing an unbeaten 47. Björn Kotzé was the thorn in the flesh of the Nepal batsmen,
finishing with figures of 10-1-37-4. Lennie Louw was the other successful Namibian bowler, taking
2/21 in nine very economical overs. This time Namibia needed 32.4 overs to reach the target,
during which they lost the wickets of captain Danie Keulder (9) and Stephan Swanepoel (6).
Riaan Walters impressed as opener, hitting a splendid unbeaten 61, whilst Gavin Murgatroyd’s 51
came from just 82 deliveries. B K Das (1/27) and P Luniya (1/22) claimed the scalps of Keulder
and Swanepoel respectively. Namibia won by eight wickets and made it clear that they would be
a side to be reckoned with in the remainder of the competition.
Another unknown entity, Gibraltar, was next on Namibia’s list. The match was played at the G
Ross Lord Park Lower Ground on 4 July 2001 and the match was restricted to 40 overs per team
after some rain. Gibraltar put Namibia in to bat and the Namibian batsmen gave a fine display of
typical one day batting, reaching 258/3 in 40 overs at a rate of 6.45 runs per over. Danie Keulder
top-scored with 82 from 89 deliveries, which included seven boundaries. Deon Kotzé (65 runs
from 51 balls), Stephan Swanepoel (64) and Gavin Murgatroyd (31*) also turned on the heat and
were in top form with the bat. D J Johnson (1/47) and S Gonzalez (1/38) were the successful
bowlers for Gibraltar. The Gibraltar batsmen were faced with a mammoth task right from the
outset and captain and opening batsman C Rocca hit a fine 41 before being bowled by J B
Burger. Unfortunately his colleagues could not follow in his footsteps and the entire team was
back in the hut for only 100 runs after 33.2 overs. Seven Namibian bowlers were successful with
Deon Kotzé returning the best figures of 7.2-1-16-2. The other wickets were shared between
Lennie Louw (1/6), J B Burger (1/6), Burton van Rooi (1/10), Louis Burger (1/14), Björn Kotzé
(1/17) and Rudi Scholtz (1/18). Björn Kotzé was also responsible for a neat piece of fielding to get
rid of T Buzaglo, run out for two. Namibia won this match by a margin of 179 runs on the
As mentioned previously, Italy and West Africa did not show up for the tournament, leaving
Namibia unbeaten in their round robin matches and qualifying them for a play-off match against
Bermuda to determine who would go through to the Super Eight stage of the tournament. This
match took place on 7 July 2001 at the Maple Leaf North-East Ground in Toronto. C M Marshall,
captain of Bermuda, won the toss and put the Namibians in to bat. Three Namibian batsmen
made half centuries during Namibia’s respectable innings of 221 all out in 49.1 overs. Riaan
Walters scored a fine 59 as opening batsman, whilst Deon Kotzé (51) and Morné Karg (52) also
impressed. H Bascombe was Bermuda’s most successful bowler with his analysis of 10-1-52-3.
He was well supported by D Fox (2/39) and D Pilgrim (2/23). Despite a patient knock from
opening batsman A B Steede, scoring 56 from 141 balls, Bermuda was bundled out for 146 in
45.4 overs. Deon Kotzé bowled well for Namibia, taking 3/27 in 6.4 overs while Burton van Rooi
also bothered the Bermuda batsmen with his speedy deliveries and took 2/32 in 10 overs. Lennie
Louw was as economical as ever and took 2/21 in 10 overs, with Björn Kotzé (1/31) and Rudi van
Vuuren (1/16) being Namibia’s other wicket takers. Namibia won by 75 runs, thereby advancing
to the Super League Stage of the ICC Trophy tournament for 2001. When the team arrived back
at their hotel that evening they found their rooms locked and had to learn later that everybody
was so sure that Bermuda would beat Namibia that they had booked the Namibians out of their
hotel beforehand! It resulted in a lot of explaining by the Namibian team manager, Francois
Erasmus. Finally the deciding word of approval to let the players back into their rooms came from
an ICC official.
Namibia’s first Super League opponent was Canada in a match at the Toronto Cricket, Skating
and Curling Club on 9 July 2001. Danie Keulder won a vital toss and sent Canada in to bat. Their
top order batsmen found it difficult to cope with the Namibian bowling attack and despite number
five batsman I S Billcliff’s 54 runs, supported by M Diwan (29) and captain J V Harris (29),
Canada could only manage 189 all out in 48 overs. This time around it was Rudi van Vuuren who
caught the eye with a fine display of pace bowling, finishing with 9-1-33-4. Burton van Rooi also
bowled well and took 2/37 in 8 overs. Björn Kotzé, Lennie Louw and Louis Burger took one wicket
apiece. For the first time in the competition the Namibian top order batsmen failed, with the
exception of Riaan Walters who scored 44 runs from 73 balls, including six fours and a six. It was
wicketkeeper Melt van Schoor who saved the day for Namibia with an excellent innings of 68*
batting at number six. He patiently kept the innings together and faced 124 balls, demonstrating
his experience and maturity as a cricketer. Louis Burger (27), Lennie Louw (14) and Björn Kotzé
(13*) batted well towards the end, enabling Namibia to reach 190/8 in 49.3 overs, thereby winning
this cliffhanger by two wickets. Joseph (2/39), Davison (2/25) and Seebaran (2/20) bowled well
for Canada. Deservedly Melt van Schoor was named Man of the Match. Apart from his match
saving batting display he also continued his good form behind the stumps, getting rid of Chumney
and Diwan with good catches.
On to Namibia’s second Super League fixture and the strong team of the Netherlands were their
opponents at the G Ross Lord Park Lower Ground in Toronto on 10 July 2001. Roland Lefebvre,
the Dutch captain, won the toss and asked Namibia to bat first on a pitch that promised to render
help to the seam bowlers early on. At 30/2 with Keulder (5) and J B Burger (5) back in the pavilion
it looked like the correct decision. Riaan Walters, however, played a stubborn opener’s innings of
30 runs from twice as many balls, setting the stage for Gavin Murgatroyd (47), Louis Burger (41*),
Deon Kotzé (21) and Melt van Schoor (19) to all contribute to a total of 181/8 in their allotted 50
overs. The Dutch captain, Lefebvre took 2/41, while Tim de Leede (1/15), L P van Troost (1/38)
and Jacob Jan Esmeijer (1/29) also bowled well. The pressure was now on Namibia’s bowlers to
contain the impressive Dutch batting line-up and they passed the test with flying colours. Burton
van Rooi (6-0-24-3), Lennie Louw (9-2-13-3) and Deon Kotzé (10-3-23-3) were the pick of
Namibia’s bowling attack, with Rudi van Vuuren also bowling very economically up front, finishing
with 1/18 from 8 overs. The Netherlands were all out for 108 runs after 44 overs and Tim de
Leede (26) was their only batsman to pass the 20-mark. Namibia surprised friend and foe with
this impressive 73-run victory and they were ready for their third Super League match.
The match against the United Arab Emirates was a pressure one for the Namibian team. Saeedal-
Saffar, the UAE captain won the toss and sent Namibia in to bat. Opening bowler Ahmed
Nadeem caused havoc amongst Namibia’s top order, claiming the scalps of Riaan Walters (5),
Stephan Swanepoel (4) and Gavin Murgatroyd (3) early in the innings. At 21/3 the writing was
seemingly on the wall for Namibia, but Danie Keulder had other plans. He played one of his best
innings’ ever, knocking 84 runs from 124 balls, including seven fours and a huge six. Louis
Burger supported Keulder well, finishing with 40* from just 39 balls. Namibia managed 179/7 in
50 overs and once again the bowlers knew they were in for a hard afternoon to restrict the UAE
batsmen. Burton van Rooi, improving with every match, impressed with figures of 5-1-18-4, whilst
Louis Burger also bowled his heart out to finish with 10-1-25-4, earning him the Man of the Match
award. The United Arab Emirates were all out for 117 runs in 34.3 overs, their best contributions
coming from Babar Malik (32) and Khuram Khan (26). Namibia won by 62 runs.
Namibia’s last Super League fixture against Scotland was probably the most important match
ever in the history of Namibian cricket – the match that would determine whether Namibia would
qualify for the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa. The match was played on 13 July
2001 at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. Danie Keulder won the toss and decided
to bat first on a good batting strip. The captain followed up his impressive 84 against the UAE
with a mature 104 runs from 137 balls, including nine fours and a six. Keulder was well supported
by Riaan Walters (43), Gavin Murgatroyd (35), Melt van Schoor (32*) and J B Burger (30).
Namibia reached 256/6 in their 50 overs at an excellent rate of 5.12 runs per over. J E Brinkley
was Scotland’s most successful bowler, taking 2/43 in ten overs. The Namibian total was always
going to be competitive and hard to chase for the Scottish batsmen. At 178/3 in the 36th over the
Scottish team seemed to be in control and heading towards victory. However, Burton van Rooi
produced a match-winning bowling display, finishing with an impressive 8.4-0-43-6. Björn Kotzé
took 1/50, whilst three brilliant run-outs, involving class acts from Murgatroyd, Keulder and Louw,
took care of the rest. C J O Smith, the Scottish keeper, played a fine innings of 88 runs, including
ten fours, whilst R A Parsons scored 53 from 65 deliveries. The last eight Scottish wickets fell for
a mere 35 runs. Scotland were all out for 247 runs in 48.4 overs, giving victory to Namibia by nine
When Burton van Rooi took the last Scottish wicket, pandemonium erupted as Namibian players
and officials showed their joy and emotion at the realisation of what they had achieved. Namibia
Cricket Board President Laurie Pieters could not hold back the tears – it was such a special
moment, the result of years of building and development of Namibian cricket. The disappointment
of the 1997 ICC Trophy tournament in Malaysia was forgotten and rather seen as much needed
experience to make this moment possible.
Most important of all, this victory guaranteed Namibia a place in the ICC World Cup 2003
tournament and, furthermore, ensured them a place in the ICC Trophy final for 2001 – the first
time ever that either of these honours had come Namibia’s way. The Namibian touring party was
ecstatic, proud and satisfied and went out that evening to celebrate an almost impossible
achievement, winning ten matches in a row to qualify for cricket’s most prestigious event. That
evening, as was the custom throughout the tournament, the team gathered in the team room to
read e-mails and faxes from supporters back home and abroad. This separate room was
established for team gatherings on each and every match day to ensure camaraderie and team
spirit amongst the players. The idea originally came from Bob Woolmer, the temporary technical
advisor of the Namibian team. During that evening’s session there was also a very special word
of congratulations from Dr Ali Bacher, Executive Director of the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South
The final of the 2001 ICC Trophy tournament took place on 15 July 2001 in front of a capacity
crowd at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. Namibia’s opponents were once again
the Netherlands, who had lost to Namibia by 73 runs just five days previously. Namibia won the
toss and captain Danie Keulder and Riaan Walters started the batting for Namibia. Walters fell
early with the score on seven, bowled by Khan. Keulder (24) steadied the innings, together with J
B Burger (38) and Gavin Murgatroyd (50 from 68 balls with seven fours). Deon Kotzé (28) and
Melt van Schoor (25) also batted well and helped Namibia to a total of 195/9 in 50 overs. Tim de
Leede (10-2-47-3) and Roland Lefebvre (10-1-42-2) were the best Dutch bowlers. Setting out to
score 196 runs for victory, Rudi van Vuuren shook the Dutch batting line-up, getting rid of Zulfiqar
Ahmed and Bradley with the total on 12. Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk (50 from 106 balls) and Jacob
Jan (JJ) Esmeijer (58* from only 51 balls) pulled it through for the Netherlands, allowing their
team to reach 196 for eight in exactly 50 overs, thereby winning a cliffhanger of a final by two
wickets. For the first time in the tournament the Namibian side’s fielding let them down. As
Esmeijer swung the Netherlands to an unlikely victory after being in trouble on 106/6, there were
two dropped catches, a series of misfields, a pair of missed run-outs and then, that final ball from
which the Netherlands needed three runs to clinch victory and the trophy. Esmeijer glanced a
Björn Kotzé delivery down the leg side and fine leg Riaan Walters dived over the ball, then started
chasing the ball and eventually picked it up fifteen metres short of the boundary. The Dutch
batsmen scrambled through for a third run, whilst the Namibians only looked on in disbelief. Rudi
van Vuuren was Namibia’s most successful bowler, finishing with figures of 10-1-35-3. Björn
Kotzé (1/36), Deon Kotzé (1/36) and Burton van Rooi (1/38) also bowled well. JJ Esmeijer was
adjudged Man of the Match, whilst the Netherlands won the ICC Trophy for the first time in their
It was a tournament of milestones and achievements for the Namibians. Captain Danie Keulder
was the best batsman of the tournament, hitting 366 runs at an average of 45.75 and a strike rate
of 68.76%. Veteran Lennie Louw finished amongst the top bowlers as far as economy rate was
concerned, conceding only 2.0 runs per over throughout the tournament. On the list of most
fielding dismissals, wicketkeeper Melt van Schoor ended fifth with ten dismissals behind his
name. Roland Lefebvre of the Netherlands was voted the Player of the Tournament.
The Namibian cricket team returned home to a hero’s welcome, and rightly so. Dr Ali Bacher,
Executive Director of the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, referred to Namibia’s
“incredible achievement” and said it was a tribute to the great strides being made to spread the
game into Africa. In particular he praised Hoosein Ayob, a South African, who is the ICC’s
Development Manager for Africa, for the tireless work he has done over the past four years to
promote and develop cricket in Africa. Bacher also singled out Namibian cricket chief, Laurie
Pieters, for his efforts to take his young team (average age 23) onto the centre stage of the
“It is quite incredible what they have done, a truly extraordinary achievement”, said Dr Bacher
from Toronto. “I am told that the Namibian government is also very supportive of their cricket
team and assisted them financially to play in Canada.” Dr Bacher also had the highest regard for
Rudi van Vuuren, set to become the first man to play in both a cricket and rugby World Cup. “He
is like Jonty Rhodes, always shouting encouragement and egging his men on. Around the ground
you could hear his voice in the victory over Scotland: ‘Kom, manne, ons gaan wen! (Come on,
boys, we’re gonna win!’)”. Dr Bacher was also impressed with the bowling performance of Burton
van Rooi and with Namibia’s hard hitting skipper, Danie Keulder.
The Namibian government also paid homage to the victorious cricket team. Namibia’s Minister of
Basic Education, Sport and Culture, the Honourable John Mutorwa, welcomed Dr Ali Bacher on a
one-day visit to Windhoek a few days after the ICC Trophy tournament. Minister Mutorwa praised
Namibian cricket “for bringing honour to its country in Canada and for pursuing an exemplary
development programme at home”. Dr Bacher in turn extended an invitation to Minister Mutorwa
to attend the World Cup as a VIP guest in February 2003. A media release issued by Mocks
Shivute, Permanent Secretary of the Namibian Ministry of Youth and Sport, on 16 July 2001, read
as follows: “The Namibian Government is proud of captain Danie Keulder and his Namibian
cricket team who, through sheer hard work, dedication and determination, managed to overcome
all obstacles in their way to emerge victoriously from the International Cricket Council Trophy
tournament in Toronto, Canada. The team has done Namibia proud and each and every
Namibian should encourage and support them in their preparations for the 2003 Cricket World
Cup. For the Namibian cricket team to have ended up as one of the top two countries in the
tournament is no mean feat, especially if the track records of some of the bigger teams are taken
into consideration. The cricket team’s laudable achievement should serve as motivation and
inspiration to all Namibians that any obstacle and challenge can be faced and overcome with
hard work, dedication and the will to win. Our special congratulations also go to young Burton van
Rooi for his outstanding performance that secured Namibia its place in the 2003 World Cup
tournament. You have done Namibia proud. Keep up the good work!”
Keeping the dream alive - youth cricket and development
Political independence and the resulting quest for international recognition brought the realisation
that continued growth through the nurturing of young talent would be the single most important
contributing factor to success. Twelve years down the road the proof is evident: …Gavin
Murgatroyd, Danie Keulder, Deon Kotzé, Morné Karg, Stephan Swanepoel, Björn Kotzé, Burton
van Rooi, J B Burger… , the list is endless, and indeed open ended on both sides. The
recognition of raw talent, nurturing it to maturity and then calling it success is as fundamental as it
In Namibia’s case this process only started in the mid-seventies when youth development
became formalised with the then South West Africa’s entry into the Triomf Week (as the Schools’
Country Cricket Festival was called at the time). On the administrative side Dr Louis Burger
played a significant role, while performance-wise the achievements of Julian Baard, Jurie Louw
and André Smuts are documented elsewhere (see chapter 1).
Prior to Namibian independence the emphasis on sheer skill and talent changed slighty with the
realisation that talent scouting was just one of the four major components of development, the
others being just as important, namely to (1) broaden the player base (quality versus quantity) (2)
introduce the game in as many (new) places as possible and (3) provide and maintain proper
infrastructure in all regions.
The outreach into previously disadvantaged communities was starting to bear fruit and the advent
of Western Suburbs as a cricketing force in the National First League, with the Griffiths brothers
(Glen, Ashley, Roger and the late Clive) and Werner Jeffery at the forefront, gave impetus not
only to lift standards and provide skills training, but also to broaden the base.
At junior level Mini Cricket was launched in May 1989 thereby introducing the sport in an exciting
format to children who had not previously been exposed to the game. Within the first year of its
introduction approximately 700 children were playing cricket on a regular basis, whilst the country
had the luxury of 28 qualified Mini Cricket coaches who attended a coaching course during May
1989. Later that year courses were also presented in scoring, umpiring and groundsmanship. It
subsequently did not come as a surprise when Mini Cricket was included in the programme for
Namibia’s independence celebrations.
The initial successes wore off after approximately two years and this was mainly due to the fact
that wherever players graduated into the hardball game at the age of 9/10 the coach moved
forward with them, while not enough was done to coach replacement teachers to further market
the softball game. This meant the phasing out of Mini Cricket in especially the previously
Graduating into the hardball game also did not produce positive results because at the time there
was not enough backup and support for playing the game at the next level. One case where the
transition did bring success was Kirk West and a group of enthusiastic youngsters at St. George’s
Primary School, who successfully made the grade. Soon Gerrie Barnard’s squad at Emma
Hoogenhout Primary School followed suit and a primary schools’ under-11 and under-13 league
got off the ground in Windhoek. As these learners grew older the rebirth of a high school league
The 1990 Botswana tour to Namibia included a match against a Namibian schools’ team which
the scholars won by 70 runs - the squad consisted of André Smith (capt), Samuel Venter, Hugo
Grundling, Ben Cronje, Werner Uys, Stephen Turner, Danie Keulder, Bertus Heyman, Gareth
Olivier, Meredith Davidson, Ian van der Walt, Thomas Botha and Deon Kotzé. Misha Kipping,
Ettienne Kotzé and Riël Dreyer joined them for an end-of-year tour to Zimbabwe where they
played four, won two and lost two against schools in Harare. They were accompanied by
manager Nico van Rooyen (Windhoek High School), coach Stephen Jones and assistant coach
Herman Rust (Academia Secondary School).
Zimbabwe returned the favour when the Zimbabwean Fawns (u/15) toured Namibia in 1992. The
team played a total of four matches against Namibian Schools’ Invitational sides and had the likes
of Gavin Rennie, Brian Murphy, Trevor Madondo and Mpumelo Mbangwa in their ranks. They
won all four matches which included the first ever schools’ match under lights in Namibia.
Also in 1992 our first ever national primary schools’ team represented the country outside its
borders when both an u/11 and u/13 team travelled to Kimberley. The u/11’s won three and lost
one while the u/13’s won 2 and lost 3 matches. The team management was: u/11 - Donny
Zealand (coach), Johan Swanepoel (manager) with Stephan Swanepoel as captain while Norman
Curry coached and Jurie Taylor managed the u/15 team that was captained by Martin West -
other players of note amongst these youngsters were Björn Kotzé, Marius van der Merwe and
In 1992/93 the Surrey wicket-keeper, Graham Kersey, served as coach of the national under-19
team and also played club cricket for Western Suburbs. A sad footnote - in 1996 Graham was
playing his cricket in Brisbane, Australia, where on Christmas Eve he sustained severe head
injuries in a car accident and passed away on New Year’s Day 1997. Other overseas
professionals were to follow in his footsteps with regard to developing young talent in Namibia.
They were Carlos Remy (England), Rodney Bannister (NZ), Daynand (Dee) Thakur (England)
and Neil Lenham (England).
The ICC’s Development Officer for Africa (based in Johannesburg), Hoosein Ayob, has also been
deeply involved in coaching clinics in Namibia. Between 1995 and 2002 he presented eight level
0 and level 1 as well as three level 2 courses in the country that were attended by more than 200
current and prospective coaches. Administration and umpiring courses were also presented.
Kirk West, Laurie Pieters, Annelie Swanepoel, John Mandy, Christo Botha, Ryno Brand and
Pieter Buys all played significant roles in the official formation of the Namibia Junior Cricket Board
on 10 June 1993. During the remainder of the nineties André Burger, Deon Karg, Donny Zealand
and Glen Griffiths also served on the Namibia Junior Cricket Board. The chairmen of the Junior
Board were: Kirk West in 1993/4, Annelie Swanepoel in 1995/6, Deon Karg in 1996/97 and Doug
Abbey in 1997/8. Werner Jeffery got involved in junior cricket in 1994 and has served youth
cricket in several capacities ever since - manager, coach, selector and Director of youth cricket
and development since the Junior Board was dissolved in 1998.
Several teachers also contributed in one way or another to promote the game amongst the youth
– Gerrie Barnard (Emma Hoogenhout), Morris van Niekerk (Suiderhof Primary), Ryno Brand
(Pionierspark Primary), Stefan Smith and Floors Grobbelaar (Orban Primary) together with Kirk
West at St George’s led the way in the formation of the u/11 and u/13 primary schools’ leagues.
The secondary schools’ league followed with much of the groundwork being done by Nico van
Rooyen (WHS), Colin van Rensburg and Peter Tildesly (Centaurus) and Herman Rust
(Academia). Others to follow in their footsteps were Coenie Prinsloo and Ettienne Odendaal
(WHS), Leon Nel, Kobus Espach and Miggi Fusch (Jan Möhr), Sias Davin (Academia), Appel de
Klerk and Marius Millard (HTS), Eben Aweries (St. Paul’s) and Thys Reynecke (Pionier Boys).
Outside the capital several others also produced some sterling work - Wimpie Silwer (Gobabis),
Willie van Zyl (Walvis Bay), Dennis Verrall and Thys van Rooyen (Mariental) and Jan Burger and
Malan Kruger (Otjiwarongo).
The supportive and in most cases leading roles played by parents and other supporters were also
significant, and the names of Elmarine Jordaan (Gobabis), Chucky Dobson, André Burger and
Ian van der Walt (Walvis Bay), Gabriel Fryer (Keetmanshoop), Mike Yates (St. Paul’s) and
Christo Botha and Pieter Buys (Eros Primary) immediately spring to mind. Club officials were
always very helpful and Volksie Slabber (TransNamib), Bertus Walters (United) and Sam van
Wyk (Wanderers) need special mention. Proof of the expansion of the game lies in numbers - in
the early sixties cricket only featured in three secondary schools - Windhoek High School, English
Medium High School and Pionier Technical School, in 1991 cricket was formally played in only six
schools (four in Windhoek and two at the coast) and by 1995 the number had increased to 37 -
ranging from Karasburg to Karibib, Stampriet to Swakopmund and Gobabis to Grootfontein.
An almost fairy tale story from this era on “how the mighty hath fallen” and the underdog can grab
the spoils occurred in 1997 when Jan Möhr Secondary School sprang a huge surprise by winning
the u/15 schools’ league – and if ever one man’s performance inspired all others this was Burton
van Rooi’s first steps on the road to higher accolades.
The Namibia Cricket Board’s Development Programme had since Independence put special
emphasis on introducing cricket to previously uninvolved areas such as Katutura and Khomasdal
- a programme that soon reaped rewards. Major role players in this endeavour were Werner
Jeffery, Carlos Remy, Dee Thakur, Neil Lenham and the Cricket Academy of Danie Keulder and
Deon Kotzé that was formed in May 1997 to improve the quality of cricket amongst our youth,
later on Riaan Walters also became involved in the Academy. Facilities also improved and new
pitches were laid at Narraville, Swakopmund, Kuisebmund, Gobabis and Oshakati amongst
others while coaching clinics are regularly being held in all corners of the country. Soon players
like Daniël Tjongarero, Karripuha Ihuhua, Polly Negongo, Ricardo Tibinyane and Tiego Motonane
made it into representative age group teams.
Soon after independence Namibian youth teams in all age groups (u/15, u/17 & u/19) re-entered
the South African Country Cricket Schools’ week and also participated in the USSASA
tournaments in neighbouring South Africa. (Virginia, Worcester, Vereeniging, Graaff Reinet,
Pietermaritzburg, Oudtshoorn, Potchefstroom, Cape Town and Benoni, to name a few, all played
host to Namibian age group teams). In 2000 a Namibian u/13 team also for the first time
participated in their USSASA age group tournament in South Africa.
For Namibia a new era dawned with the national senior team ending second highest amongst the
African sides in the 1997 ICC tournament in Malaysia, which brought the country qualification for
the 1998 u/19 World Cup to be played in South Africa.
A plethora of senior team players graduated from the juniors’ participation in the ICC under/19
World Cup. Herewith a brief summary of Namibia’s participation at the highest (junior) level:
ICC u/19 Cricket World Cup (South Africa) January 1998
Pieter Burger Gareth Cloete
Shawn Gericke Björn Kotzé
Bennie Myburgh Gustav Pickering
Walter Rautenbach Pieter Rossouw
Rudi Scholtz Wilber Slabber
Stephan Swanepoel Marius van der Merwe
Duane Viljoen (capt) Riaan Walters
Manager: Doug Abbey Coach: Omar Henry (RSA)
Assistant coach: Rodney Bannister (New Zealand professional)
* * * * * * *
The West Indies u/19 team played a warm up match against Namibia in Windhoek on their way to
the u/19 World Cup in South Africa. The young Windies won the match by 8 wickets.
1st ROUND MATCHES:
12 January 1998: vs Bangladesh Laudium Oval, Centurion
Namibia: 105 (43 overs)
(Swanepoel 28*, Kotzé 21)
Bangladesh: 109/6 (28,1 overs)
(Mehrab 22, Cloete 2/24, Kotzé 2/29)
Bangladesh won by four wickets
* * * * * * *
13 January 1998: vs England Oppenheimer Oval, Randjesfontein
Namibia: 161/9 (50 overs)
(Kotzé 38, Viljoen 33, Swanepoel 22, Franks 3/19, Gough 2/20)
England: 162/7 (33,4 overs)
(Shah 40, Scholtz 5/29)
England won by three wickets (and went on to win the tournament)
* * * * * * *
15 January 1998: vs New Zealand LC de Villiers Oval, Pretoria
NZ: 372/7 (50 overs)
(Marshall 164*, Kotzé 2/53)
Namibia: 160 (43,5 overs)
(Walters 48, Kotzé 31, Swanepoel 25, Ingram 3/12, Anderson 3/19)
New Zealand won by 212 runs (and became runners up in tournament)
* * * * * * *
19 January 1998: vs Scotland Avion Park, Kempton Park
Scotland: 244/9 (50 overs)
(Butchart 128*, Kotzé 3/36, Pickering 2/22)
Namibia: 88 (32,2 overs)
(Myburgh 24, Kotzé 20, Mitchison 3/8, Blain 3/19)
Scotland won by 156 runs.
* * * * * * *
20 January 1998: vs West Indies Christian Brother’s College, Boksburg
Namibia: 94 (38,3 overs)
(Rautenbach 20, Sarwan 3/14, Gayle 3/14)
WI: 95/2 (17,4 overs)
(Hinds 27*, Pickering 1/15)
West Indies won by eight wickets.
* * * * * * *
22 January 1998: vs Denmark Wanderers Oval 3, Johannesburg
Denmark: 305/5 (50 overs)
(Christiansen 90*, Hansen 50, Slabber 3/33)
Namibia: 79 (30,5 overs)
(v/d Merwe 20, Christiansen 4/27, Nielsen 3/0)
Denmark won by 226 runs.
* * * * * * *
Namibia’s u/19’s did not do the country proud during their first outing on the world stage where
they set a record for undisciplined bowling they would surely like to forget - in their six matches a
massive 190 wides were bowled (averaging 31,7 per match) of which no less than 65 were in the
last match against Denmark. It must, however, be said that team morale was very low due to
some off-the-field incidents - Pieter Burger was sent home after the West Indies game because
he was deemed not fit enough, while only five team members (Gareth Cloete, Gustav Pickering,
Rudi Scholtz, Stephan Swanepoel and Marius van der Merwe) were cleared of any involvement
in the infamous “Room 102 incident”.
Back home the Namibia Cricket Board took appropriate action with some serious discussion with
the players and their parents. All the parties agreed that the team’s behaviour and resulting
performance were unacceptable and the players involved in the unsavoury incident withdrew from
all competitions and other representative cricket for one month after the tournament. Each player
was also to plough back 15 hours of coaching services towards youth development for the NCB
during the remainder of that season. In retrospect the NCB should be commended for their
leniency towards the disgraced youngsters, otherwise some promising careers could so easily
have been permanently scarred or ruined. On the administrative side manager Doug Abbey
resigned, the Junior Cricket Board was dissolved and Werner Jeffery became the Senior Board’s
first Director of Youth Cricket and Development.
* * *
ICC u/19 Cricket World Cup (Sri Lanka) January 2000
Jan-Berrie Burger (captain) Pieter Burger
Shawn Gericke Michael Greeff
Stefan Ludik Bennie Myburgh
Pollie Negongo Johan Nel
Wilber Slabber Nico Smith
Stephan Swanepoel Marius van der Merwe
Burton van Rooi Tobie Verwey
Manager: Werner Jeffery Coach: H R (Tiger) Lance (RSA)
* * * * * * *
WARM UP: vs Colombo Combined Schools’ XI
Rain reduced match to 20 overs per side, Namibia lost by 35 runs.
* * * * * * *
11/01/00: vs Australia P Saranavanamuttu Ground, Colombo
Australia: 321/2 (50 overs)
(S. Watson 100*)
Namibia: 55 (30,4 overs)
Australia won by 266 runs
* * * * * * *
13/01/00: vs Sri Lanka P Saranavanamuttu Ground, Colombo
Namibia: 93 (44,2 overs)
Sri Lanka: 96/3 (20,4 overs)
Sri Lanka won by seven wickets.
* * * * * * *
15/01/00: vs Ireland Moors SC Ground, Colombo
Namibia: 186/7 (48 overs)
(v/d Merwe 70, Swanepoel 39, Ludik 34)
(Ireland: rain reduced target: 128 in 36 overs)
Ireland: 127/5 (36 overs)
(P. Burger 2/19)
Tie (Duckworth - Lewis method - 1st time in history D/L resulted in tie)
* * * * * * *
19/01/00: vs Bangladesh Uyanwatte Stadium, Matara
Namibia: 57 (28,3 overs)
Bangladesh: 58/3 (11,1 overs)
Bangladesh won by seven wickets.
* * * * * * *
21/01/00: vs Zimbabwe Galle International Stadium, Galle
Namibia: 231/5 (50 overs)
(J.B. Burger 69, v/d Merwe 44, Swanepoel 38,
P. Burger 36*)
Zimbabwe: 233/7 (48,2 overs)
(van Rooi 3/53)
Zimbabwe won by three wickets.
* * * * * * *
23/01/00: vs Kenya Air Force Ground, Katanayake
Kenya: 220/8 (48 overs)
(van Rooi 3/47, Myburgh 2/18)
Namibia 166 (44,2 overs)
Kenya won by 54 runs.
* * * * * * *
With the political aspirations of the Tamil Eelan Tigers in the north an ongoing concern in Sri
Lanka and a bomb attack in the proximity of the Sri Lankan State House not too long before the
tournament the Namibian team (and all others) were met with strict security measures. Therefore
the team was quite worried when on return to their hotel in Galle after the Zimbabwe match they
found a small section of the roof had collapsed. Their fears of sabotage were, however, alleviated
upon realisation that it was a minor incident due to a structural problem and not as bad as it
In retrospect this was a much improved performance on the 1998 effort. Although they were
overwhelmed by the mighty Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the team put up a good
showing against Kenya, Ireland and especially Zimbabwe.
* * * * * * *
Namibia were not automatic qualifiers for the next u/19 World Cup to be played in New Zealand
and our youngsters had to qualify through the 2002 Youth World Cup qualifying tournament
played in Kampala, Uganda between 3 and 10 January 2001. The Namibian u/19 team were:
Stephan Swanepoel (capt), Burton van Rooi, Johan Nel, Tobie Verwey, Michael Greeff, Hugo
Ludik, Michael Durant, Dawie Marx, Olivin Glen-Spyron, Konrad Kubirski, George Pickering,
Johan Baard, Kirsten Isaacs and Daniël Tjongarero. Werner Jeffery accompanied the team as
coach, Dirk Kotzé Jr. was the tour manager while Edgris Baron also went along as umpire.
Namibia’s results were as follows:
versus Kenya won by 9 wickets
versus Uganda won by 9 wickets
versus West Africa lost by 10 runs
versus East & Central Africa won by 6 wickets
Not only did Namibia win this tournament to cement their place in New Zealand 2002, they also
contributed five players to the Team of the Tournament, an African u/19 XI to play a match in
Barbados. Stephan Swanepoel won the Player of the Tournament award and he was also
appointed as captain of the African team. His teammates in the African side were Burton van
Rooi, Hugo Ludik, Tobie Verwey and Michael Durant.
* * * * * * *
ICC u/19 Cricket World Cup (New Zealand) January 2002
Ronald Cloete Michael Durant
Hendrik Geldenhuys Olivin Glen-Spyron
Michael Greeff Dirk (D C) Grobler
Kirsten Isaacs Hugo Ludik
Johan Nel Colin Steytler
Paul Steyn Stephan Swanepoel (capt)
Burton van Rooi (v/capt) Tobie Verwey
Manager: Dirk Kotzé Jnr Coach: Werner Jeffery
* * * * * * *
WARM UP MATCHES:
17/01/02: versus Nepal
Namibia won by 19 runs
18/01/02: versus Papua New Guinea
PNG: 190/10 (Nel 4/32)
Namibia: 184/10 (Ludik 95*)
PNG won by six runs
* * * * * * *
20/01/02: vs Zimbabwe Lincoln
Rain interrupted : reduced to 32 overs per innings
Namibia: 111 (29,2 overs)
Zimbabwe: 113/1 (19,2 overs)
(Coventry 64*, Taibu 31*)
Zimbabwe won by nine wickets.
* * * * * * *
22/01/02: vs Sri Lanka Lincoln
Sri Lanka: 141 (40,5 overs)
(Mendis 57, van Rooi 4/27, Greeff 3/25)
Namibia: 142/6 (44,3 overs)
Namibia won by four wickets.
MAN OF MATCH: Burton van Rooi
This was the first instance where a non-test playing nation beat a test playing nation at u/19 level
PS: It was repeated the same day when Nepal also beat Pakistan
* * * * * * *
23/01/02: vs New Zealand Christchurch
Namibia: 201/5 (50 overs)
(van Rooi 62, Ludik 49*, Verwey 30*)
NZ: 203/4 (36,5 overs)
(Broom 85, Taylor 58*)
New Zealand won by six wickets.
* * * * * * *
28/01/02: vs Scotland Auckland
Scotland: 234/4 (50 overs)
(Gilmour 100*, Sheikh 60)
Namibia: 237/6 (43,3 overs)
(Swanepoel 142, Steytler 32*)
Namibia won by four wickets.
MAN OF MATCH: Stephan Swanepoel
* * * * * * *
30/01/02: vs Nepal Auckland
Nepal: 137 (49,2 overs)
Namibia: 127 (48,4 overs)
(Ludik 33, Das 3/21, Lama 3/23)
Nepal won by 10 runs.
(Namibia at 105/4 wasted a golden opportunity to win this one)
* * * * * * *
01/02/02: vs Canada Auckland
Namibia: 226 (46 overs)
(Durant 53*, Swanepoel 49, van Rooi 32, Ludik 30, Bhatti 3/48)
Canada: 85 (34,2 overs)
(Nel 3/15, Durant 3/21)
Namibia won by 141 runs.
MAN OF MATCH: Michael Durant
* * * * * * *
04/02/02: vs Zimbabwe Lincoln
Zimbabwe: 228 (50 overs)
(Ervine 72, van Rooi 3/33)
Namibia: 193 (49,5 overs)
(Durant 48, Greeff 43, Nel 31, Mwayenga 3/27)
Zimbabwe won by 35 runs.
* * * * * * *
Zimbabwe proceeded to win the plate final against the other surprise package of the tournament,
Nepal, by 137 runs. In the super league final Australia beat South Africa by seven wickets.
Namibia was obviously disappointed at not reaching the plate final but overall the team showed
character and spirit, much like their senior counterparts in Toronto in 2001. The highlights most
certainly were the three wins, especially the one against Sri Lanka, with the accompanying three
Man of the Match performances by Burton van Rooi, Stephan Swanepoel and Michael Durant.
Individually Stephan Swanepoel’s 142 against Scotland was the fifth highest of the tournament
and one of only 13 centuries scored. His aggregate of 257 runs (seven innings at an average of
36,71) was the tournament’s ninth highest while these runs were scored from 285 balls, giving
him a strike rate of 90 runs per 100 balls faced and putting him tenth on the tournament list.
Michael Durant also made a top ten list, being the seventh most economical bowler in the
tournament. His overall analysis was 44,4 - 10 - 128 - 6 at an economy rate of only 2,86 runs per
over. Johan Nel also managed a top ten performance, his 10 - 1 - 15 - 3 against Canada was the
ninth most economical bowling spell in an innings. (South Africa’s R McLaren topped this list with
4/9 in his 10 overs in their match against Canada). On the fielding side wicket-keeper Hugo Ludik
made a good impression with 11 dismissals (9 ct, 2 st) which put him fifth on the tournament’s list
- his four catches in the match against Sri Lanka were the third most dismissals in an innings. His
direct opponent in that match, C S Fernando, was the tournament’s best with an almost flawless
display against Zimbabwe when he dismissed eight batsmen (4 ct, 4 st).
* * * * * * *
If this list of Namibian prospects graduating through junior ranks does not convince you of the
essential role of youth development, hopefully the following will. Herewith some of the regular and
potential senior international players of test playing nations who have evolved through the ranks
of the ICC u/19 Cricket World Cups only in the period since Namibia’s first participation in 1998.
INDIA WEST INDIES
Virender Sehwag Marlon Samuels
Harbajan Singh Ranaresh Sarwan
Yuvraj Singh Chris Gayle
Mohammed Kaif Darren Ganga
SOUTH AFRICA NEW ZEALAND
Graeme Smith James Franklin
Jacques Rudolph James Marshall
Jon Kent Lou Vincent
Hamilton Masakadza Stuart Law
Travis Friend Allan Mullally (England)
Mulaleki Nkala Nathan Bracken
Charles Coventry Nathan Hauritz
Dion Ebrahim Shane Watson
Tatenda Taibu SRI LANKA
ENGLAND Dilhara Fernando
Owais Shah Nuwan Zoysa
Abdur Razzaq Thomas Odoyo
Imran Nazir Morris Ouma
And if the above list still fails to impress - the inaugural u/19 World Cup in Australia in 1988
produced amongst others Brian Lara (West Indies), Mike Atherton (England) and Sanath
Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka).
Lately even younger Namibians are proving themselves a force to be reckoned with on the
African continent, with the national u/15 team winning the African Five Nations’ Challenge in 2000
and in 2002.
The success of an intensive youth development programme throughout the 1990’s was stressed
by the NCB Chairman, Ian Stevenson, in his 2000 annual report in which he described the
number of younger players that came into contention for the national team as the greatest
success story of that season - eight of the touring party of 14 players that traveled to Malaysia
that year were either scholars or students who had come through the ranks of the recent
development programme. They were Burton van Rooi, Björn Kotzé, Stephan Swanepoel, Riaan
Walters, J B Burger, Walter Rautenbach, Werner Rademeyer and Wilber Slabber.
The Namibia Cricket Board tabled a five year Cricket Development Plan during 1999 with the
objective of reaching certain definite milestones as far as junior cricket and cricket development
are concerned. This plan addresses certain key issues such as facilities, coaching, infrastructure,
equipment, club and league structures and finance. The NCB has made good progress with this
plan during the following three years and, as is the case with all strategic plans, they review and
adjust this development plan annually in the best interest of Namibian cricket.
In conclusion, Stephen Jones, the Namibian player-coach between 1988 and 1992, observed the
following: “Over the four seasons that I played, I saw vast improvements on the playing side,
particularly from an attitude point of view. There was a realisation that the enjoyment side of
cricket was enhanced by hard work and discipline and although there were a few casualties along
the way initially, the standard, spirit and team results reflected the input of extra energy.”
This was said of the 1988 to 1992 period but it remains to this day a true reflection of the state of
Namibian cricket. With the ongoing emphasis on youth development and the continued efforts
and sacrifices of those who love the game, it cannot do otherwise than go from strength to
The following symbols and abbreviations have been used:
AGM = Annual General Meeting
… CC = … Cricket Club
D/L = Duckworth - Lewis (method used to determine the outcome of rain affected matches)
EP = Eastern Province (SA cricketing province)
FNB = First National Bank
Griquas = short for Griqualand West (SA cricketing province)
ICC = International Cricket Council
KZN = KwaZulu-Natal (Inland) (SA cricketing province)
MCC = Marylebone Cricket Club
NCB = Namibia Cricket Board
NLD = The Netherlands (unofficially Holland)
NNSC = Namibia National Sports Council
NSP = Namibia Sports Promotions
NZ = New Zealand
ODI = one day international (limited overs international)
(O)FS = (Orange) Free State (SA cricketing province)
PNG = Papua New Guinea
(R)SA = (Republic) of South Africa
SACCA = South African Country Cricket Association
SACD = South African Country Districts
SFW = Stellenbosch Farmers’ Wineries
SWA = South West Africa
UAE = United Arab Emirates
UCB = United Cricket Board (of South Africa)
USSASA = United Schools Sports Associations of South Africa
WI = West Indies
WP = Western Province (SA cricketing province)
XI = Eleven (normally used in invitational team context)
* = denotes a not out innings by a batsman
… /… = … runs for the loss of … wicket(s)
A bowling analysis is indicated as follows:
… - … - … - … = overs bowled - maidens - runs conceded - wickets taken