Namibia wicketkeeper-batsman Raymond van Schoor has died in Windhoek at age 25, five days after suffering a stroke during a match. Van Schoor was batting on 15 during Namibia's five-wicket win over Free State in a CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge when he collapsed on field and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
Van Schoor remained hospitalised since then but never recovered and was pronounced dead on Friday night. Cricket Namibia president Richard Frankle told ESPNcricinfo by phone on Saturday morning that van Schoor had battled in hospital throughout the last week but was ultimately unable to recover due to complications following the stroke suffered last Sunday.
"He had a massive stroke and this caused a lot of swelling on the brain," Frankle said. "The doctors were unable to get the swelling to come down or stop. They did a number of blood tests and could not find any plausible medical reason for what happened. I'm not sure whether they are going to do anything more in terms an autopsy but at the end of the day, what happened in this past week is that his brain continued to swell and there was nowhere more for the swelling to go. You could progressively see how the swelling affected all his other functions.
"Cricket in Namibia is most definitely in mourning today. It was most certainly a shock that at 25, Raymond was taken from us. His team-mates were all at his bedside yesterday and they've taken it very hard."
In a message on Cricket Namibia's Facebook page, Frankle had said: "Raymond was a tremendous asset to Cricket Namibia and the national cricket team. He was taken far too early from us. We however accept that Almighty God needed him to represent the heavenly angels! May his soul rest in peace!"
Van Schoor was a mainstay of the Namibia batting line-up since making his national team debut in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge against North West at age 17 in 2007. In the same week, the right-hand batsman made his first-class debut against Canada in the Intercontinental Cup, opening the batting for Namibia - making 46 and 2 - in an eight-wicket win. In all, he played 92 first-class matches, scoring 4303 runs at 27.40 including five centuries and 20 half-centuries with a career-best 157 in 2010 against Bermuda in the ICC Intercontinental Shield.
Across all formats, van Schoor scored more than 8000 runs for Namibia in 265 career matches, making him the most-capped Namibian cricketer ever ahead of Craig Williams, who has played a total of 239 matches across first-class, List A and Twenty20 cricket for Namibia. Van Schoor is currently ranked second all-time in first-class runs for Namibia behind only Williams, who has 5017 runs in 73 first-class matches. Van Schoor's 2618 List A runs put him third behind only Gerrie Snyman's 3671 and Williams' 3016 while his 1550 Twenty20 runs in 70 matches rank No. 1 all-time for Namibia.
At age 22, van Schoor was named the Player of the Tournament at the ICC World T20 Qualifier in the UAE after topping the averages with 324 runs at 54.00, including a career-best 79 not out against USA. During the event, van Schoor won three Man of the Match awards - against USA, Uganda and Italy - and finished the group stage as the leading scorer with 323 runs in seven matches as Namibia went 7-0 before losing to Afghanistan and Ireland in the knockout stage.
That same year, van Schoor was recognised for his top form from Cricket Namibia after he was named 2012 Cricketer of the Year at their annual awards. Van Schoor served as both vice-captain and captain for Namibia in the past, leading Namibia a total of 40 times, including in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Cricket South Africa Provincial One-Day Challenge and Three-Day Cup competitions.