Raymond van Schoor was named as Namibia’s Cricket Player of the Season at Cricket Namibia’s annual prizegiving ceremony on Saturday evening.
Middle order batsman Van Schoor, who is the vice captain of the national team, beat captain Sarel Burger and all rounder Christi Viljoen to the award.
After initially making his mark as an opening batsman in the team, Van Schoor was moved down to the middle order in the three-day competitions, although he was retained as an opener in the T20 format of the game.
His best performance came at the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai when he scored 324 runs at an average of 54,00 to win the Player of the Series award.
Van Schoor also scored 146 runs at an average of 36,50 in the ICC 50 Over competition; and 157 runs at an average of 39,25 in the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
In the Cricket South Africa competition, Van Schoor scored 579 runs at an average of 32,16 in the three-day competition; 223 runs at an average of 44,6 in the 50 over competition; and 101 runs at an average of 25,25 in the T20 competition.
Van Schoor was a popular choice with his fellow cricketers as he also won the Namibian Player’s Player of the Year award. Van Schoor was not present at the awards ceremony since he is currently playing club cricket in England and his trophy was received by his father Melt, who is also a former Namibian international cricketer.
Tim Ekandjo of Cricket Namibia’s main sponsors, MTC, congratulated Cricket Namibia on a successful season which he said had many highlights.
“The local MTC domestic league has once again been professionally managed and also expanded, with the establishment of the coastal league. Our national Under 19 team qualified for the ICC Under 19 World Cup to be held in Australia which is a remarkable achievement. The senior team also qualified for the World T20 qualifiers where they beat some of the world’s top countries,” he said.
Ekandjo said he was aware that their annual sponsorship of N$2,5 million was not enough for them to achieve their goals, and once again called on other corporates to sponsor sport in Namibia.
“MTC would like to give more to Cricket Namibia, but as you understand, we continue to be sole sponsors of so many sport codes in Namibia and do not foresee profitable corporates joining us anytime soon as proven over the years. We will however continue to carry this sole responsibility with pride to assist government and players,” he said.
Ekandjo calls for development
Ekandjo called on Cricket Namibia to accelerate its development efforts to ensure that cricket reaches the previously disadvantaged sectors of Namibia’s society.
“Cricket in Namibia has for many years been perceived as a white sport and it is time we change that perception and integrate Namibians from all walks of life into the game. By integrating previously disadvantaged Namibians into the game, Cricket Namibia would be drawing from the collective strength of all the citizens of the country,” he said.
“I am not saying that we must replace white players with black players, but I am saying let us entice and market the game to the previously disadvantaged and those with potential should be developed and given a fair platform to compete for honours in any of our cricket teams,” he added.
The president of Cricket Namibia, Francois Erasmus said he was proud of their achievements and that they would continue to strive to do better. He also committed himself to accelerate the development of the game amongst the previously disadvantaged.
“We appreciate the reality of what you said,” he said, referring to Ekandjo’s speech, “and we commit ourselves to achieve that. I’m quite sure that in one or two years’ time we will have moved forward, that is my promise to you,” he said.
“I am proud to be part of a code that has grown from strength to strength. Our administrators are competent and well organised and they do their work for the love of the game. If you do it for the right reasons, you will be successful,” he said.
The other winners on the evening were as follows:
Under 15 Cricketer of the Year: Michau du Preez
Under 17 Cricketer of the Year: Daniel Seha
Under 19 Cricketer of the Year: Gerhard Erasmus
Girl Cricketer of the Year: Jasmin Kahn
Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Anneri van Schoor
Most Improved Woman: Evelyn Kejarukua
Administrator of the Year: Abe Louw
Umpire of the year: Jeff Luck
During the season under review Cricket Namibia also won the ICC Africa Development Programme of the Year as well as the Development Programme of the Year at the Namibia Spot Awards.