When Bad Eclipses Good

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A significant number of skanky arguments is running riot in that ageing bag of grey substance inserted between my ears after yours truly learned that the Namibian Cricket Board became the proud recipients of an assortment of top awards from the International Cricket Board for her apparent well-articulated Development Programme.

I’ve selectively opted to use the phrase “well-articulated” because this is exactly where the buck stops as far as Cricket Development in Namibia is concerned.

The Namibian Cricket Board can go around and hoodwink the International Cricket Board into believing that Cricket Development is well on track with a selected few individuals still enjoying a sizeable bite from the cake while the majority feeds off crumbs.

With barely a month left before Namibia celebrates her 18th Independence Anniversary – an age that is normally associated with maturity – Namibia is yet to produce a decent cricketer of colour with the abbreviated emergence of Burton van Rooi who has since gone the way of the dinosaur.

Let us face it, the Namibian Cricket Board has done its bit to improve the standard of the game that was initially invented by bored English shepherds in years gone by, and must be commended for reaching the World Cup finals hosted by South Africa in 2003.

Of course we are all aware that cricket is purely a pastime for the pale skinned, because the influence of colonialism in the past meant an interest in cricket was firmly entrenched in the minds of those folks who became exposed to cricket at an early age, while darkies were only introduced to the game through casual contacts in their dealings with cricket enthusiasts.

If we are to realize the emergence of organized cricket in the townships or see the game gathering momentum, cricket authorities must vigorously commit themselves to the establishment of a new sports culture in consultation with the line Ministry and the country’s supreme sports body, the National Sports Commission.

Unlike in South Africa, Namibia never had any quota systems in place and yours truly hopes and trusts there will never be a situation where it would be necessary to introduce quotas to speed up the process of transformation, since darkies will always live with the added weight of being labelled quota players.

It creates the perception that if it were not for the quota system then darkies would not be good enough to warrant selection and this scenario can have a negative effect on players who can become unsure about the coach’s genuine intention with them. Such doubts can include whether the coach really rates the player or whether he is being forced to select the player in question.

It was said before and I’ll put it in writing for the umpteenth time – transformation should not be confused with development because the latter is the nurturing of talent and talent identification should never have a colour coding – that’s the bottom line. Transformation is about opportunity and until such time sports authorities create opportunities for athletes from previously disadvantaged communities to come through the ranks, the phrase “transformation” will only remain in the vocabulary.

People are getting sick and moeg of sporadic tourneys and one-off coaching and training courses in the outlying areas of the country – players must be given an opportunity to play on a regular basis if they are to master the finest techniques of the modern game.

Bowling has now pulled in a couple of bored gardeners to swing the black ball while squatting on a bent knee but yours truly is not entirely convinced and would rather label this exercise as blatant window dressing.

We don’t want black players to be used as political pawns to deflect government’s pressure on transformation – because there is a clear under-representation in cricket structures if one has to consider our geographic layout. I rest my case.

Taking Football to the Regions

The Namibian Football Association must be applauded for its decision to decentralize the staging of top-flight matches, but there is a sting in the tail with the manner in which the Organizing Committee is going about its business.

Yours truly just can’t put his finger on the pulse as to how the forces at Soccer House arrive at the decision to schedule matches way into the dark hours of Sunday, that’s just something that goes beyond my imagination – let alone deciding the fate of teams through the tossing of a coin.

After all, both Otjiwarongo and Keetmanshoop have teams playing week in and week out in the country’s elite league the MTC Namibia Premiership and yours truly fails to digest the rationale of taking matches to these particular venues while other towns such as Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Mariental, Karibib and Gobabis are capable of hosting these matches.

Women Football Given a Cold Shoulder

The National Women’s football team “the Brave Gladiators” as the team is fondly known amongst its ardent supporters will be squaring up against Nigeria’s Falcons in an African qualifier at the Khomasdal Stadium in Windhoek tomorrow.

What puzzles the mind is the amount of lip service that has been going around about the importance of gender equality, including the development of Women football but when the chance presented itself – no one is coming to the fore.

Our girls are playing a very important match against the cream of the continent and yet no official announcement was made about the latest developments in the camp or a single press briefing to gauge public interest prior to this historic encounter.

Sponsors who usually stumble over their feet to get a piece of the cake whenever the Brave Warriors are preparing for a big match are nowhere to be seen.

Action speaks louder than words, nevertheless, let’s go flat out in large numbers and support our Brave Gladiators to boost their morale against the Super Falcons.

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