History of the Africa Cricket Association

By Cois du Plooy
1 October 1998

No history of Africa Cricket Association would be complete without a history of the SCSA Zone V1 Cricket Confederations.

The SCSA Zone V1 Cricket Confederation was born out of two schoolboy cricket tours, which took place between Namibia and Botswana in 1989 and 1990.

The foundation fathers Steven Jones (Namibia Cricket Board) and Neill Armstrong (Botswana Cricket Association) established the Zone V1 Cricket Confederation with three main objects in mind:

The inaugural meeting of Zone V1 Cricket Confederation was held in conjunction with the tournament which took place in Windhoek Namibia in September 1991 and was attended by Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and as guests, Oxford University.

Namibia won the tournament. An official constitution was settled for the confederation. It was also agreed that the general meeting and tournament would be held on an annual basis. Swaziland became the next host in September 1992, with Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland participating.

Zambia was the second country to lift the Zone V1 winner's cup.

South Africa's involvement began the third tournament and AGM, held in Zambia in 1993. UCBSA sent two representatives as observers. Malawi won the third annual tournament. Uganda asked and was invited to join the confederation.

The next annual tournament was held in Malawi. First time participators were Uganda and South Africa. South Africa won the tournament after beating Tanzania in the final.

Kenya joined up in 1995. The tournament was held in Tanzania with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia participating. Kenya won the tournament.

The following tournament, in Pretoria South Africa in 1996 was the largest ever held in the history of the Zone V1 Confederation with eight countries participating, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The regular administrative meetings and tournaments ensured that the main objectives set by the founders of the Zone V1 Cricket Confederation were addressed and the gospel of cricket was spreading throughout Africa with great speed.

It became apparent that with the participation of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and the eminent participation of Nigeria, the Zone V1 Cricket Confederation was out growing itself.

With the intention of the International Cricket Conference (ICC) to globalise cricket and the formation of the ICC Development Committee, came the vision to concentrate development efforts continent by continent and establish an Africa Cricket Association. After prompting by the Zone V1 Cricket Confederation Executive Committee, UCBSA and Zone V1 Cricket Confederation hosted an inaugural meeting in March 1996, in Johannesburg, to discuss the formation of the Africa Cricket Association. Representatives of UCBSA, MALAWI, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda and Botswana attended that meeting.

Representatives of Botswana and Kenya exchanged draft constitutions for the Africa Cricket Association. A follow up meeting was held, coinciding with the AGM of the Zone V1 cricket Confederation in Pretoria in September 1996. Representatives of all the countries participating at that Zone V1 Cricket Confederation Tournament and AGM gave their input to the constitution and vision for the Africa Cricket Association. The Secretary General for the SCSA Zone V1 also participated.

Through the year 1997, the constitution was discussed and developed.

The inaugural AGM of the Africa Cricket Association was scheduled to coincide with an AGM of the Zone V1 Cricket Confederation, in Harare, in August 1997.

At that meeting of the Africa Cricket Association (which was the third meeting of the founding members), the constitution was adopted and the executive committee confirmed.

The Africa Cricket Association was born, and the African cricket renaissance commenced.

Recognising the need for and advantages of regionalisation to achieve any development on the continent, the association has decided to initiate its development activities in four regions, each region led by country of influence.

The southern region would be led by South Africa and comprise Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia.

The central region would be led by Zimbabwe and comprise Malawi, Namibia and in time Mozambique and Angola.

The eastern region would be led by Kenya and comprise Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda Zanzibar and in time Mauritius and Seychelles.

The western region would be led by Nigeria and comprise the Gambia Ghana and Sierra Leone.

To promote grass roots level development the association would promote annual regional, and biannual continental Under 13, Under 15 and Under 19 cricket tournaments.

The Africa Cricket Association would supersede (having recognised the essential and vital role that that confederation has played) the Zone V1 Cricket Confederation.

It was determined that the inaugural senior Africa Cricket Association cup tournament would be held in Namibia in 1998.

In 1998 the ICC Development Director for Africa began travelling to the entire African cricket playing countries in order to assess the status of cricket in those countries.

In 1998 the executive committee met and developed a programme for the next years, with particular emphasis on the foreseeable five years. It was resolved that for the development of cricket all association, executive committee meetings and tournaments should be rotated amongst the members.

The association realises that its success and continued existence, and its very objective being the development of cricket in Africa depend on finance. A finance and promotion subcommittee has been formed and is actively engaging sponsors in discussion to ensure that there is finance available in order to make the development programme, initiated by the association's development committee a reality.

There is no doubt that with the efforts of those committee, within the association, and the support of others who are interested and who become interested in cricket, that the renaissance of cricket in Africa will continue until this sport is established throughout the continent.

Contributed by: Cois du Plooy (cois@ingenium.com.na)

Source: CricInfo