Outjo hosts cricket tournament

By Michael Uugwanga

A few days after the government removed the state of emergency giving the green-light for all sports to resume, cricket players in Outjo did not waste time and held the first post lockdown tournament called Outjo Spring T20 on Saturday.

The one-day tournament took place under the auspices of Cricket Namibia’s ongoing First National Bank Kwata cricket programme that is aimed at taking the sport to previously disadvantaged communities that have not been exposed to cricket.

Cricket Namibia top development officer in the Kunene region, Wilhelm Tuhafeni said: “The tournament was played between local players from Outjo. The two teams that contested the one-day event were Outjo Royal Challengers XI against Outjo King Riders XI, of which Outjo Royal Challengers emerged victorious after winning the match by 17 runs. I really want to thank Cricket Namibia and Outjo Spar for making this tournament a possibility.

“We all want to see the sport of cricket becoming the number one sport code in the region, if not in the country as a whole. I was happy to see cricket back again as it was very difficult to play the sport due to strict measures in place.”

The top performers of the tournament were bowler Aloys Kazimbu with five wickets while Simon Ndeshihala was the top batsman after scoring 36 runs from 23 balls.

As part of Cricket Namibia’s aim of making the sport more visible, the association is embarking on a regional cricket coaching roadshow that will start this weekend and end on October 10.

“The roadshow will see top local coaches visiting schools giving coaching clinics to teachers and children on how they can become top cricket players,” said Tuhafeni.

For the past five months sport in Namibia was at a standstill due to Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing protocols that became effective under the State of Emergency.

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Despite Cricket Namibia criticism from previous sponsor MTC for its failure to introduce a quota-system to end racial imbalance in the sport, cricket is today one of the country’s fastest growing codes.

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According to Cricket Namibia, the FNB Kwata cricket programme that was launched in 2013 has more than 26 000 youths on its books and Tuhafeni is accredited as the man behind the success of cricket at junior level.

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