Cricket Boss Suffers Heart Attack


By Confidence Musariri WINDHOEK The newly elected Namibia Cricket Board (NCB) President, Francois Erasmus, is in a stable condition at a private hospital in Cape Town, South Africa after suffer-ing a heart attack in Windhoek in the early hours of Saturday. The long-time former manager of the national cricket squad spent the weekend fighting for his life after collapsing in the Namibian capital. The cricket boss was flown to Cape Town’s Panorama Hospital where surgeons are believed to have done an emergency “procedure to widen his arteries”, according to board member, Laurie Peters. “His (Erasmus) arteries were narrowing,” said Peters before applauding the South African specialists for their haste in the use of automated external cardiac defibrillators, which shock a heart back into a normal rhythm. The myocardial infarction comes barely weeks after Erasmus took up his new post in which he has promised to take the national team back to the world cricket scene. Erasmus was busy finalizing the appointment of the national team coach after an exasperating month of interviewing the coaching candidates. A lawyer by profession and the Director of Van Der Merwe and Greef Attorneys for the last 16 years, Erasmus took over from Laurie Peters last June. He has been the manager of the national cricket team for the last eight years, whereby he was instrumental in the MTC Boys’ historic cricket world cup starring in South Africa 2003. Before the heart attack, Erasmus had just announced the new national team cricket skipper Louis Burger and was scheduled to unveil him together with the new coach this week. “All this will delay the appointment of the coach but I am glad that we have a solid and responsible board which will not be carried away,” said Peters. The NCB has now called a meeting this Saturday to find a “temporary replacement of the president. But we are not panicking, because he is much better now, according to the latest from Cape Town,” Peters said. Former captain Deon Kotze confirmed receiving text messages from Erasmus’ wife yesterday morning informing him about the sudden ill health. Erasmus has been sitting on the NCB board since 2004 and is also credited for the numerous development awards that the board has received internationally. At the time of his illness Erasmus had been coaching cricket and rugby with the Under 11 teams of Eros Primary School in the capital. With the aid of MTC, Erasmus recently pledged the greatest responsibility of getting cricket facilities to schools in low-lying regions. “It’s no longer a white or coloured people sport as was the case in the past but interest is increasing tenfold each year,” he said. Erasmus was busy overseeing Namibia’s privilege of hosting the United Arab Emirates from the 8th to the 11th of December in a 4-day test for the Intercontinental Cup. He was also working on the possibility of the India A-side playing against the MTC Boys in the capital, this November, “but they (Indians) are still to respond to the emails,” he had said last Thursday. Laurie Peters said the board was working on a turn-around strategy that would see the return of the national team where it belongs and noted how all that had been dealt a huge blow by the president’s heart attack.