WINDHOEK, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Namibian senior men's cricket team captain Gerhard Erasmus said on Monday that early sports development can nurture future professional players who can replicate his feat.
Erasmus recently won the International Cricket Council (ICC) men's associate cricket player of the year. According to him, although Namibia only ranked 14th on the ICC T20 and the One Day International (ODI) cricket rankings, focusing on youth development will yield a crop of talented players who could also reach the same heights.
"As Cricket Namibia continues to grow and put systems in place, young players from the grassroots will go all the way to the international level and make a career out of the sport in Namibia," he told Xinhua.
Erasmus expressed his delight as one of the first Namibians to win the accolade.
"It is a very great honor for me to win the associate cricketer of the year award. It testifies to the growth of Namibian cricket and how the players have performed over the last three or four years," he said.
When asked if Cricket Namibia was developing future cricket stars, he said that "the administration and developmental side of Namibian cricket have been brilliant over the years."
"I am one of those products that came through the system being a local Namibian, schooled in Namibia and going through the ranks of Namibian cricket," he said, adding that it goes to show that the development factor is there from Cricket Namibia.
Erasmus led underdogs Namibia to a historic 55-run victory over much-favored Sri Lanka at the ICC 2022 T20 World Cup held in Australia.
Despite not progressing to the next stage of the competition, Namibia earned the respect of its opponents with gutsy performances.
The 27-year-old further expressed his gratitude towards the backroom staff for helping him and his teammates in their recent international success on the pitch.
"I have to pay a lot of respect to my team and the staff who do a lot of hard work for us players to go onto the field and perform," he said.