• November 18th, 2018
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An open letter to Francois Erasmus

Sport, Sports
Sport, Sports

… ‘The Inconvenient Truth about Cricket Namibia’ Dear Mr Erasmus, I’m writing to you in your capacity as the designated representative of Namibian Cricket on the International Cricket Council (ICC) - a position you are currently paddling on the ticket of Namibian cricket. You were in charge when Cricket Namibia resolved to declare the author persona non grata from all cricket-related activities domestically. The apparent sin was the author’s no holds barred outspokenness on the tortoise-pace - or rather total lack of - transformation in local cricket, for which yours truly was severely scapegoated. With a sense of pride and dignity, I feel obliged to pose a few pertinent questions to you, sir. As a bloke, whom I believe loves, adores and follows international cricket with keen interest, I need not remind you that you would be by now well aware of a very interesting article authored by a foreign journalist, one Tim Wigmore, outlining the same issue of transformation I raised about three years ago, under the headline “The Inconvenient Truth about Cricket Namibia”. The author gave an insight as to why Namibia has dismally failed to negotiate its way past the qualifying rounds of the ICC World Cup - citing a significant number of nerve-wracking revelations, cousined by a frighteningly brow-raising and well researched in-depth analyses. The burning issue of white domination is constantly mentioned as a major stumbling block, hampering the progress of Namibian cricket - something you and your buddies strongly denied and deliberately turned a blind eye to when alerted to through my observations a couple of years ago. My humble plea to you, my learned colleague, is to humble yourself and acknowledge that there is a hidden racial bias in team selection, given the naked realities of the country’s demographic representation - a general guideline that does not seem important to the powers that be at Cricket Namibia, so to speak. Wigmore goes on to point out that the process should not be about replacing the current crop of white cricketers with blacks; it’s just a humble request to level the playing field by affording cricketers of colour opportunities to compete on equal ground. I’m looking forward to your response. Wait a minute, before you start roasting me again! Please respond to the allegations made by your fellow kith and kin, Mr Wigmore, for his well-articulated analyses on the well-documented crises besieging domestic cricket. Yours truly is awaiting with baited breath to see whether the brother would also be cold-shouldered and declared Enemy Number One of Cricket Namibia in the same fashion I was scolded for daring to raise the issue about racism in the local game. Truth be told, there is an overall well-defined and calculated racism in Namibian sports. People just don’t want to talk about it, period! Yours truly has noticed that some sports clubs with financial muscles and club officials masquerading as the real messiahs of sports development have developed a tendency to become self-opinionated. If one raises an issue on the methodology applied, they become defensive and feel offended without offering alternatives. It’s my personal opinion, which I’m entitled to, and I still maintain that the sudden mushrooming of youth football academies does not serve its real purpose, unless young talented footballers from disadvantaged communities are afforded the opportunities to be nurtured through these academies. All I’m saying is that those kids currently in the academies are not necessarily the most talented ones, since they are there because they are the offspring of well-to-do parents. Highly gifted youngsters from impoverished settlements will never have the opportunity to develop properly as a result of the exorbitant entry fees charged by the academies. If this sickening practice was effected abroad, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling, Jerome Boateng, Karim Benzema, Neymar, Thierry Henry and the likes of Louis Suarez would not be grazing international football pitches by now. Decision to name street after Jamaican athlete off colour If something is repeated often enough with nauseating regularity, it gets stored at the forefront of our minds. It doesn’t even have to be true. How often do we stumble upon regional councilors stepping out of line of their authority before we realise this is a serious problem?. The latest decision attributed to Otjozondjupa Governor Otto Ipinge - to rename the historic Son Road in Otjiwarongo to Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - is a cause for great concern. It brings to light question about the criteria applied and where exactly our genuine loyalties as Namibians lie. It was probably a well-meant good gesture by the governor, but the brother seriously got carried away by making such an announcement without consultation with the town’s authorities; in this case Otjiwarongo Municipality. Firstly, who qualifies for such accolades? There is an old saying that charity begins at home. To start with, revered internationally acclaimed sprinter Frank Fredericks, world boxing champions Harry Simon and Paulus Ambunda, as well as dozens of other top athletes, including footballers from that neck of the woods. Some of them have long gone the way of all flesh, while those still breathing are yet to witness their names engraved on street corners for their achievements. In the conspicuous absence of clear-cut criteria in terms of acknowledgements, logic suggests that referendums should be randomly conducted to determine the identity of deserving recipients of such high profile awards. I rest my case.
New Era Reporter
2015-10-09 10:47:02 3 years ago

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