JJ Smit wins top cricketing awards

JJ SMIT capped a great year by winning the Player of the Year as well as the Players’ Player of the Year awards at Cricket Namibia’s annual prize giving function over the weekend.

Smit was the outstanding player at the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament in Windhoek in April where he helped Namibia win the title after beating Oman in the final.

He won the Player of the Tournament award after scoring 221 runs at an average of 55,25 and taking 13 wickets at an average of 14,53.

Smit also played a prominent role in his club Wanderers’ success as they won the Cricket Premier League 50 over title.

In the final they beat Windhoek High School Old Boys by seven wickets with Smit scoring 50 not out and taking two wickets for 38 runs.

Smit’s success also brought him international recognition as he was signed up by the Vancouver Knights for the Global T20 Canada tournament which starts at the end of this month.

Karl Birkenstock won the Most Improved National Men’s Player award, as well as the Raymond van Schoor award for his hard work and positive attitude.

Kayleen Green won the Senior Women’s Cricketer of the Year award after helping Namibia reach the final of the Africa Women’s T20 Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in May.

She was also Namibia’s most economic bowler in all matches for the senior women’s side with an economy rate of 4,04 runs per over, while she took 21 wickets at an average of 9,85.

In batting, she scored 245 runs off 280 balls at an average of 20,41.

Mercely Dantago won the Women’s Junior Player of the Year award after scoring 78 runs and taking 12 wickets in the league.

The national men’s coach Pierre de Bruyn won the Coach of the Year award after guiding Namibia to the WCL Division 2 trophy while they also won the Africa T20 Qualifiers in Uganda. Namibia also won One Day International (ODI) status for the first time since 2003 and won their first ODI match this year against Oman. The national men’s team also won the Spirit of Cricket Award.

Veteran cricket administrator Laurie Pieters won Cricket Namibia’s Lifetime Honorary Member award after services to cricket for most of his life.

As a player, Pieters represented Windhoek High School and Centaurus as well as South West Schools in 1960.

After school he mostly played for Wanderers Cricket Club, although he also had stints with Walvis Bay and Police.

His administrative career started in 1984 when he qualified as an umpire and four years later he became the representative of the Cricket Umpires Association on the Namibia Cricket Board (NCB).

In 1992 Pieters became the chairman of the NCB, and in 2002 its president.

Pieters also won numerous national and international cricket awards, including the ICC Global Lifetime Service Award an the Namibia Sports Commission Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pieters is only the sixth person to receive Cricket Namibia’s Lifetime Honorary Member award, after John Powell, Hans Erik Staby, Wes Kruger, Apie Kotze and Arthur Brown.

Former national player and current United coach, Trevor Britten, won the Recognition for Service to Cricket Namibia award, while Jeff Luck won the Administrator of the Year award.

Three umpires received recognition for their officiating, with Claude Thorburn winning the International Umpire of the Year award; Andrew Louw the Umpire of the Year award; and Essau Heyns the Most Improved Umpire of the Year award.

Several scorers also received awards namely Nolene Winborn (international scorer), Tsungai Chadzinya (upcoming international scorer), Thalia Louw (senior club scorer) and Eloise du Plooy (junior club scorer).

Vernon Cloete won the Groundsman of the Year award, while Gareth Cloete won the Club Coach of the Year award.

Several development programme awards were also handed out.

Belinda Engelbrecht of Gammans Primary School and Elenora Gawetse of Moses van der Bijl Primary School shared the Kwata Administrator of the Year award, while !Nara Primary School won the Kwata School of the Year award.

Wilbard Nendongo won the Development Officer of the Year award, while Kunene region won the Development Region of the Year award.

The following youth awards were handed out:

Under 19 Player of the Year: Divan La Cock.

Under 17 Player of the Year: Kyle Saunders.

Under 15 Player of the Year: Renier Bosman.

Under 13 Player of the Year: Jack Brassel.

Youth Coach of the Year: Lauritz Haccou.

Numerous awards were also presented to the winning teams and top individual performers in the different formats and leagues of Namibian club cricket.


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