The CEO of Cricket Namibia Graham McMillan has expressed disappointment with Namibia’s performances at the Under 19 Cricket World up, after they lost their opening five matches at the tournament.
Namibia suffered big defeats against cricketing test nations Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh, and then lost to Ireland and Nepal in positional play-off matches. Namibia will now play their final match against Zimbabwe on Thursday in the 15th position playoff match.
Macmillan said they expected the Test nations to be strong, although the defeat against Nepal was disappointing.
“It was always going to be a difficult assignment for the boys. We were in the toughest group, playing against three test nations while the other groups only had two test nations. The other associate member countries like Ireland and Scotland also suffered big defeats against the test-playing nations, so this tournament just underlined that Associate cricket is still far behind the level of Test cricket,” he said.
“The defeat against Nepal was very disappointing. Our top order batsmen did not come to the party, but the team also had some bad luck. One of our top batsmen Jano Coetzee broke his hand in a warm-up match against the West Indies, while our wicketkeeper Gerhard Erasmus also got injured,” he said.
MacMillan said Namibia had to be more pro-active in their preparation for the World Cup, because the Test-playing nations currently had a big advantage in this respect.
“The South African team was in camp for about six months before the World Cup at their Cricket High Performance Centre. During this time they played series’ against England, Australia and India and the resources and financial clout they have are phenomenal,” he said.
MacMillan said that Namibia would have to try and qualify higher in future to get a better draw.
“We got the toughest group after being drawn as the sixth and last Associate member country, so next time we must qualify higher to get a better draw,” he said.
New coaching position advertised
Meanwhile, MacMillan confirmed that they had advertised the position of Cricket Namibia’s head coach, but added that the incumbent Johan Rudolph would also be considered for the job.
Rudolph’s contract had come to an end and Cricket Namibia decided to advertise the position to ‘cast the net wider.’
“We want to cast the net wider and just want to see who is available out there. We are not excluding Johan from applying again, but we need to see which other Africans are out there,” he said.
MacMillan confirmed that Rudolph’s work permit had not been renewed but said they were working on it, through the Namibia Sport Commission and were confident of a positive outcome.
Applications for the post close at the end of August, after which an interview process will follow, with the new coach expected to be announced in about a month’s time.
The new cricket season will start on September 15 when the Namibia Premier League kicks off.
Namibia’s first international encounter will be against Kenya in the ICC Intercontinental Cup in Mombassa at the end of September. Namibia will play a four-day ICC Cup match, two One Day International matches and two T20 matches.
Namibia open their campaign in the Cricket South Africa amateur competition with a home fixture against Easterns on October 11 and MacMillan said it was important that they raised their standard, after a disappointing 2011/12 season when they came last in the CSA Three-day Challenge and second last in the 50-over competition.
“We have an important season ahead of us and we need to start justifying our place in CSA competition and improve,” he said.