Southern Times Writer
Tshwane – Co-hosting the 2027 Cricket World Cup is a shot in the arm for Namibia and will boost development of a sport that has been experiencing a new lease of life in recent month.
Namibia –with South Africa and Zimbabwe – will co-host the 50-over showcase after their joint bid was accepted by the International Cricket Council.
It continues a phenomenal couple of months for Namibia, whose senior men’s side a few weeks ago made a huge statement of intent by qualifying for the Super 12 stage of the T20 Cricket World Cup.
“Not many associate member countries receive this opportunity (of hosting the Cricket World Cup). We are extremely grateful for being included in the bid,” Cricket Namibia CEO Johan Muller said.
“Hosting this event will provide Namibians with the opportunity to see some of the best teams in the world in action in our backyard.
“After the success of our men’s team at the recent T20 World Cup and the success of our Capricorn Eagles (the Namibia senior men’s national cricket team), this is just another reason for Cricket Namibia to further commit to the growth and development of young talent in our country.”
Kenya – who co-hosted the Cricket World Cup with South Africa and Zimbabwe in 2003 when the tournament was first played on African soil – used that platform to improve the standard of its game, resulting in many calling on the ICC to grant the country Test status.
Namibia, though, will be hoping that it will not have to wait until 2027 for such a lobby to gain momentum.
Namibia was part of that historic 2003 World Cup and followers of the game will remember how they battled hard, albeit in a losing cause, then they were placed in the same group as Australia, England, India, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
Cricket Namibia boss Muller said the country was already preparing for the 2027 edition, which includes building a new facility for the matches it will host. His association is already guaranteed of a hefty payday from the television rights associated with being part of the tournament, in addition to direct support from the ICC as well as from sponsors.