Cricket Namibia awards professional contracts to ten women players

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Cricket Namibia has announced professional contracts for ten women’s cricketers, making it the first sports governing body in the country to have contracts for both its men’s and women’s national teams. The contracts were negotiated and signed in February but announced only on Tuesday.

“For the first time, we have been able to professionalise 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,” Cricket Namibia chief executive Johan Muller said in statement published by the ICC. “Ten ladies now have the opportunity to support their households by pursuing their passion. We want to thank Capricorn Group [the sponsors of the women’s team] and everyone involved.”

The value of the contracts and other details have not been made public.

The contracted players are: Kayleen Green, Sune Wittmann, Arrasta Diergaardt, Edelle van Zyl, Bianca Manuel, Irene van Zyl, Wilka Mwatile, Mekelaye Mwatile, Naomi Benjamin and Saima Tuhadeleni.

The Namibia women’s team, called “Capricorn Eagles”, are currently 17th in the ICC Women’s T20I team rankings, their best position to date. They were most recently in action at the African Games, where they won just one of their group-stage games and failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

Since receiving T20I status in 2018, Namibia have participated in 72 international matches, winning 44 of them. In 2019, they represented the Africa region in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier but did not advance to the main event in 2020.

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