November 4, 2008

Namibia

Namibia: we need more money

Will Luke

The chief executive of Namibia Cricket, Laurie Pieters, has blamed Namibia's inferior professional setup for their defeat against Ireland in the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup on Sunday.

"We are obviously disappointed that we did not win the cup because that was our intention," Pieters told Namibia Sport, "but the fact that Namibia is not in the ICC's High Performance programme had a lot to do with it."

The top six Associate member countries each received US$350,000 over the past year under the ICC's High Performance programme. A small sum in the grand scheme of things but, for Associate cricket, this amounts to relative riches. Namibia, on the other hand - who are ranked in the top ten of Associates - only received US$50,000 from the ICC over the past year.

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Posted by Gerhard Buttner on (November 25, 2008, 9:21 GMT)

I would like to comment, being of half-Namibian descent and lived there for a while: While it cricket comes from admittedly a tiny base in only some sectors of the community and based mainly in only a few towns, Namibia, has the advantage of having home-grown local players and had a cricket culture for many decades (unlike some other nations where it is nearly all first-generation immigrants. Even most of the odd South Africa-born or based players probably have strong Namibian family links). This means that additional funding can really go a far way if the authorities really commit to invest in areas beyond their traditional support base but with the advantage of having solid existing structures.

Posted by Michael Meade on (November 7, 2008, 13:30 GMT)

It takes an incredible amount of effort to get cricket going and then to keep it going in a non-cricketing nation. Part of “making these organizations more financially viable in their own right” is the money that it takes to change the concept of being a “non-cricketing nation” to then be thought of as a “cricketing nation”. Ireland’s increased funding and exposure to playing the top teams has helped them immensely Namibia, who obviously are not short of the talent, would benefit from the funding in the same way. Big sponsorship comes hand in hand with playing with the big boys and playing with the big boys costs money in coaching, infrastructure, etc. Without that investment, you are looking at a chicken and egg situation.

Posted by Simon Butler on (November 6, 2008, 22:01 GMT)

It is good to see Namibia and indeed the other associate asspiring to professionalize cricket in their respective countries. Namibia i can see really becoming a force in Africa in the next 10 years or so. They show huge amounts of potential, and an impressive drive to perfom well, the player already seem to have a professional approach to the game. I am also very impressed with Namibia performances in the South African first class competion. They have been more than competative. Namibias progession has been constanbt over the last few years, and thouroughly deserve the funding boost from the ICC. They have done everything to recieve the extra funding in the way of performance. My only question would be on the player numbers of cricket in Namibia, which I'm not certain of, but it would be interesting to see the figures. While seeing countries like Australia tour Namibia, it is perhaps more feazable to simply seek a tour match against visiting sides rather than a full tour.

Posted by Kimemia Maina on (November 4, 2008, 20:05 GMT)

Whilst its all good for the ICC to offer these financial incentives to Associates more effort needs to be put in by all involved to make these organizations more financially viable in their own right.

Posted by Ralph Zimmermann on (November 4, 2008, 16:09 GMT)

They have absolutely the right intentions with regard to improving Namibian cricket: reaching the top 4-6 associates so they can professionalize the game (again, this shows the value of the structures the ICC is putting in place, encouraging teams to have these aspirations), and looking to play as many games against the Test teams as possible.

I hope Australia agree to play them en route to South Africa next year. I'm no fan of South Africa's board, but they deserve credit for playing associates regularly. I think most of the other boards could do more.

The situation is improving: most teams touring England now play an ODI against either Scotland, Ireland or Holland, and long may that continue. In terms of Australia and New Zealand, who have no major associate on their doorstep (PNG and Fiji, for example, being rather lower down at the moment) agree to requests like Namibia's.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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