The end of a superb, refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable week in Windhoek ended with an emotional triumph for the Kenyans who deserved nothing less than their moment of glory after performing as the professionals they have become.
Officials from the ICC, the Namibian Cricket Board and the five other nations taking part in the tournament reflected on a job well done. Actually, the Sri Lankans were something of an exception to that, interestingly.
In four tours to that wonderful island, I’ve only ever encountered friendly, modest and humble people, especially the cricketers.
For some reason, the players in this ‘A’ team were immodest and demanding and apparently unconcerned about the fact that they made no friends.
No wonder the locals were cheering so loudly for the Kenyans during the final.
Also reflecting on a job well done was Bob Woolmer, appointed by the ICC to head their Operation Excellence designed to elevate the playing standards of Namibia, Canada, Holland and Kenya sufficiently for them to compete with the senior nations at the World Cup.
Having failed to win the last World Cup with the pre-tournament favourites, Bob admits to being quite happy having a stake in four minor nations this time around.
“I increase my chances of having a good day, but I also increase my chances of having a terrible one!” Woolmer joked.
South Africa, too, have tripled their chances of having a good day.
Not only can we all hope that the national team refind their best form, but we can watch the progress of Namibia and Kenya with a little more that brotherly admiration.
Both teams have South African coaches.
Eric Simons watched his Namibian team win two matches, against Holland and the eventual tournament winners, Kenya, while Andrew Kirsten has made a “great difference” to the Kenyan side since joining them as assistant coach according to captain Steve Tikolo.
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