Landmark Moment: Cricket Namibia Awards Maiden Central Contracts to Women’s Team

In a historic move that underscores Cricket Namibia’s commitment to gender equality and the professionalization of women’s cricket, the organization announced the awarding of central contracts to the Namibia women’s cricket team for the very first time. The announcement, made on Tuesday, 26th March, marked a significant milestone in the development of cricket in the country.

Ten professional contracts were bestowed upon members of the Capricorn Eagles, in what can only be described as a groundbreaking moment for women athletes in Namibia. Negotiated and signed in February 2024, these contracts symbolize a tangible step towards recognizing and rewarding the talent and dedication of female cricketers in the nation.

The contracted players include Kayleen Green, Sune Wittmann, Arrasta Diergaardt, Edelle van Zyl, Bianca Manuel, Irene van Zyl, Wilka Mwatile, Mekelaye Mwatile, Naomi Benjamin, and Saima Tuhadeleni. Each of these individuals has demonstrated exceptional skill and commitment to the sport, and their inclusion in this initiative is a testament to their hard work and perseverance.

Speaking on this momentous occasion, Johan Muller, CEO of Cricket Namibia, expressed his delight at being able to professionalize the women’s game. He emphasized the significance of this step, not only for cricket but for sports in the country as a whole.

Muller remarked, “For the first time, we have been able to professionalize the women’s game. This is a significant moment for sports in the country. It’s the first time ladies have been signed on contracts where cricket is their occupation. Ten ladies now have the opportunity to support their households by pursuing their passion. We want to thank Capricorn Group and everyone involved.”

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The support of Capricorn Group, alongside other stakeholders, has been instrumental in realizing this landmark achievement. Their commitment to advancing women’s cricket in Namibia has paved the way for greater opportunities and recognition for female athletes.

The Capricorn Eagles, currently ranked 17th in the ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings, have been steadily making strides in the international cricket arena. This achievement of securing central contracts is a reflection of their dedication and determination to excel at the highest level.

Since attaining T20I status from the ICC in 2018, Namibia has participated in 72 T20I matches, emerging victorious in 44 of them. While they represented the Africa region in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019, they unfortunately did not advance to the main event in 2020. However, with the newfound support and recognition provided by central contracts, the team is poised to continue its upward trajectory and make its mark on the global stage.

As the first sporting body in Namibia to provide central contracts to both the men’s and women’s national teams, Cricket Namibia has set a commendable precedent for inclusivity and equality in sports administration. This landmark moment not only elevates the status of women’s cricket but also serves as an inspiration for aspiring female athletes across the nation.

With central contracts in place, the future looks bright for women’s cricket in Namibia. As these athletes continue to hone their skills and compete on the international stage, they embody the spirit of resilience, determination, and excellence that defines the sport of cricket.

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