Namibia readies for ‘lekker’ Cricket world cups

LANDMARK … Cricket Namibia held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday to officially mark the construction of the country’s 2027 Cricket World Cup facility. Photo: Cricket Namibia

Cricket Namibia is looking to break new ground with the construction of a state-of-the-art venue in Windhoek, where two world cup tournaments will be held in 2026 and 2027.

The national cricket federation held a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site on Wednesday to mark the construction in earnest of the National Cricket Ground, as Namibia stepped up preparations to host the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in January 2026 and then the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in November of the year after.

Namibia and Zimbabwe will co-stage the junior tournament, with South Africa joining the collaboration for the senior competition.

“As we break the ground today, let us break barriers. The barriers that limit our aspirations; the barriers that divide us; and the barriers that stand between us and our goals. Let this stadium stand as a testament to the boundless possibilities that lie ahead for us when we come together for a shared vision and a common purpose,” said Cricket Namibia president Rudie van Vuuren.

“I want to take this moment to thank all the people for this momentous undertaking.

The journey has been long, but our vision and picture remain crystal clear. Today is a lekker day and we are glad to share it with you.”

Benchmarking world class stadiums in South Africa and India, Cricket Namibia have developed a project which will fuse internationally acclaimed infrastructure with Namibian culture.

“This stadium will be globally competitive.

That is our tenacity and grit, we always compete. The details that were thought of for this project are mind-blowing. It will be professionally built and professionally run,” said Van Vuuren.

“We believe that only when we run cricket professionally as a business, with the Namibian people as its main stakeholders, will we be successful.

“Our culture at Cricket Namibia is based on our values of excellence, discipline, unity, communication, respect and transparency.

We believe that we will get to a point when cricket will become the sport of choice for all Namibians.”

The stadium, which is adjacent to the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in Olympia, is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will include a high performance centre, restaurant and corporate suites.

It is expected to be ready to host domestic cricket matches by September.

“This stadium will become more than just a structure of steel and concrete, it will be the beating heart of our cricket community,” Van Vuuren said.

“A place where dreams are born, where players will showcase their talent and where memories are etched into the fabric of our collective identity.

“It will be a place where friendships are forged and rivalries are born and where the spirit of competition ignites a passion of excellence for all who enter these gates.

“Let us build a legacy together, a legacy of passion, perseverance and the enduring spirit of sportsmanship that will define us as a community for years to come,” he said.

Cricket Namibia conducted research spanning just over three years centred on covering all its bases, especially with regard to the financial and practical viability of embarking on the costly project.

“It’s a day when a lot of planning has come together and we can celebrate a vision and the start of something great for this country,” said Cricket Namibia chief executive officer Johan Muller.

“We’re at a point now where we’ve consulted with so many entities on the construction.

We’ve had final designs submitted to the City of Windhoek that we will receive back shortly. Our contract is in place, everything is in place for this to actually now start taking shape.”

Sport, youth and national service minister Agnes Tjongarero, who was the main speaker at the groundbreaking ceremony, said the stadium will be a priceless national asset.

“This stadium symbolises our commitment to fostering the growth of cricket in our nation and also beyond. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the stakeholders who have contributed to making this dream a reality,” said Tjongarero, who believes the legacy of hosting the two international competitions will unlock the potential of cricket in the country.

“As we embark on this journey, I am filled with immense pride and excitement for what lies ahead. The international stadium of cricket will not only serve as a venue for thrilling matches, but also as a hub for nurturing talent, promoting sportsmanship and fostering camaraderie among nations,” she said.

“It is a testament of our passion for cricket and determination to excel on the world stage. To our cricketers, let this stadium be a source of inspiration and motivation as you train tirelessly, hone your skill and strive for greatness. The world will be watching and I have no doubt that you will make us proud,” said Tjongarero.

“Together, let us celebrate this momentous occasion and look forward to a future filled with memorable cricket

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