NAMIBIA’S national women’s cricket team will compete in the ICC-Africa Women’s T20 Tournament in Tanzania from December 16 to 19.
They will compete against South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, with the top two teams qualifying for the 2014 ICC T20 Cricket World Cup which will take place in Bangladesh.
At a capping ceremony in Windhoek yesterday, the CEO of Cricket Namibia Graham MacMillan wished the team well and encouraged the players to make use of their chances.
“Our intention is to finish amongst the top two teams so don’t stand back to anyone and take your opportunity. The girls from South Africa and Zimbabwe are just as nervous, so this is a great chance for you to go to Bangladesh. Take up the challenge and make it happen,” MacMillan said.
At the same occasion Riaan van Rooyen of Bank Windhoek announced that they would increase their sponsorship of women’s cricket by N$20 000 to N$130 000 for 2013. It is the third year that Bank Windhoek is sponsoring women’s cricket after an initial sponsorship of N$80 000 in 2011.
The team coach Dickson Vambe thanked Cricket Namibia for the opportunity but added that it would not be easy.
“It will not be easy but we’ve got the capacity to participate and not just compete,” he said.
The team will be captained by 20-year-old Anneri van Schoor, who is a member of the Van Schoor family that has made a great contribution to Namibian cricket.
Her father Ian and uncle Melt van Schoor both represented Namibia’s senior side, while her nephew, Raymond is the current vice captain of the Namibian senior side. What’s more, Anneri’s younger sister, 16-year-old Michelle is also a member of the women’s team.
“I am very proud to be part of this family. Cricket is in our blood and it’s an honour for me to captain this team and represent my country,” she said.
Van Schoor said they had a very young team, with half of the players still Under 16, but that they were aiming to finish amongst the top three teams.
“We will take each match as it comes, but realistically Id say we are aiming for a top three finish. South Africa and Zimbabwe will be very strong, but they havent played us before so they wont know what to expect,” she said.
Last year Namibia competed in an African T20 tournament in Tanzania where they came third out of six nations. Namibia beat Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda, but lost to Kenya and Tanzania. The tournament was eventually won by Uganda, with Tanzania coming second and Namibia third.
Namibia’s team is as follows: Anneri van Schoor (captain), Chantelle Esterhuizen, Chantelle Esterhuysen, Eunice Esterhuysen, Zhantay Frans, Kayleen Green, Andrea Hayward, Eveleen Kejarukua, Carmin Liebenberg, Maryke Short, Michelle van Schoor Irene van Zyl and Yasmeen Khan.