Both the U-11 and U-13 Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Junior cricket festival trophies remain at the coast.
This follows after Pro-Ed clinched the U-11 tournament and !Narra Primary the U-13 tournament at the 20th edition of the festival which coincided with Cricket Namibia’s 100th year of existence.
Pro-Ed won six of their seven games. !Nara Primary finished the tournament undefeated with six wins. Roche Venter from Pro-Ed was named U-11 player of the festival and William Lottering from !Narra Primary School U-13 player of the festival.
The former great South African fast bowler Fanie de Villiers was a guest at this year’s tournament and attended the prize-giving ceremony. The festival focuses on cricket development and the promotion of the game and accommodated players from nine schools this year. De Villiers signed and handed out more than 150 cricket balls donated by Ronnie Koppin of Marshall Reef after the prize-giving ceremony on Friday. He welcomed the initiative and encouraged girls playing cricket to continue practicing the sport.
The success of the Junior Coastal Cricket Festival can be attributed to cricket personalities such as Otto Mack and John Heynes who organised the festival and ensured the enrolment of teams and players increased over the years.
The tournament became a regular feature on the Namibian school calendar and won the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) development award for best junior cricket promotional programme development initiative in 2003 and 2006.
Many Namibian senior cricket players played their first cricket matches as juniors at the festival. Eleven members of the Namibian U-19 squad that participated in the 2014 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in Dubai, played at the festival in 2007 and 2008.
The other top performers in the respective age categories were:
U-11: Shevale Hanop – best wicketkeeper, Merwe van Wyk – best spin bowler, Adrain Louw – best seam bowler, Roche Venter – best batsman (152 runs), Jack Brassel – best all-rounder (48 runs and 7 wickets), Chirstiaan Venter – most economical bowler. WAP – best team spirit, Christiaan Grobler – manager of the festival, Wikus Grobler – coach of the festival and Ettien Beukes – best umpire.
U-12: JC Balt – best wicketkeeper, Kristihan Britz – best spin bowler, Armand Smith – best seam bowler, Gerhard Janse van Resburg – best batsman (133 runs), William Lottering – best all-rounder (119 runs and 15 wickets), Vincent Murapo – most economical bowler, WAP – best team wickets, Louise Balt – manager of the festival, Johannes Joseph – coach of the festival and Gerhard Lottering – best umpire.