The Namibian sporting fraternity is reeling in shock following the tragic death of one of the country’s most promising young cricketers, Raymond van Schoor.
The national senior cricket team wicketkeeper-batsman died in Windhoek at the fairly young age of 25, five days after suffering a stroke during a match.
Van Schoor was batting on 15 during Namibia’s five-wicket victory over the visiting Free State in a CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge contest when he suddenly collapsed on the field. He was immediately taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
He remained hospitalized since then but never fully recovered and was pronounced dead on Friday night. Cricket Namibia President Richard Frankle paid tribute to the deceased in a written statement revealing the tragic news.
“Raymond was a tremendous asset to Cricket Namibia and the national cricket team,” Frankle said. “He was taken far too early from us. We, however, accept that Almighty God needed him to represent the heavenly angels! May his soul rest in peace!”
Van Schoor was the mainstay of the Namibian batting line-up since making his senior national team debut in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge against North West at age 17 in 2007.
In the same week, the right-hand batsman made his first-class debut against Canada in the Intercontinental Cup, opening the batting for Namibia – making 46 and 2 – in an eight-wicket win.
In all, he played 92 first-class matches, scoring 4 303 runs at 27.40 including five centuries and 20 half-centuries with a career best 157 in 2010 against Bermuda in the ICC Intercontinental Shield. Across all formats, he scored more than 8 000 runs for Namibia in over 200 career matches.
At age 22, Van Schoor was named Player of the Tournament at the ICC World T20 qualifier in the UAE after topping the averages with 324 runs at 54.00, including a career-best 79 not out against the USA.
During the event, Van Schoor won three Man of the Match awards – against the USA, Uganda and Italy – and finished the group stage as the leading scorer with 323 runs in seven matches as Namibia went up 7-0 before losing to Afghanistan and Ireland in the knockout stage.
That same year, Van Schoor was recognized for his top form by Cricket Namibia and was named 2012 Cricketer of the Year at the union’s annual awards.
The deceased was both vice-captain and captain for Namibia in the past and led his native land 40 times, including in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 Cricket South Africa Provincial One-Day Challenge and Three-Day Cup competitions.
His departure follows short on the heels of former Brave Warriors and Civics utility defender Franklin “Piele” April, who perished under similar circumstances less than a month ago.
– ESPN Sports Media Ltd