Current Date: 28 May, 2024

Namibia Living The Dream After The 2021 T20 WC Breakthrough

A year ago, Namibia was the surprise package on their T20 World Cup debut, reaching the Super 12 stage. Namibia wants to build on that momentum in Australia and cause a few upsets.

Twelve months ago, Namibia beat Ireland, the Netherlands, and Scotland in the UAE.

On Sunday, they start this year's campaign against Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka, before renewing hostilities with Dutch and completing the preliminary round against the UAE.

Coach Pierre De Bruyn⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ said it's like living a dream for these players; none of them have played in Australia.

Led again by captain Gerhard Erasmus, the experienced squad looks familiar. However, Namibia will be hoping for more big performances from talisman David Wiese and paceman Ruben Trumpelmann, key performers 12 months ago.

De Bruyn said they walked into the unknown last year.

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Namibia Living The Dream After The 2021 T20 WC Breakthrough

We've gained World Cup experience and also confidence. But we know there are no guarantees. First, we have to win two games, De Bruyn said.

Divan la Cock, dubbed an exciting talent by De Bruyn, is likely to open the batting in place of the retired Craig Williams. Still, apart from that, the Eagles will rely on the core of the 2021 team.

Veteran Wiese and JJ Smit are hard-hitting batsmen, and Namibia has an unusual bowling attack dominated by left-arm seamers.

They are mentored by bowling coach Albie Morkel who has been able to call on help from his brother, Morne Morkel, the former South Africa Test fast bowler.

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Namibia Living The Dream After The 2021 T20 WC Breakthrough

Albie Morkel joined up with the Eagles when they defeated Zimbabwe 3-2 in a five-match T20 series in May. Namibia has only played three other T20 internationals this year.

But a link-up with Pakistan T20 Super League champions Lahore Qalandars has seen four Namibian players train at the Qalandars academy. At the same time, a Twenty20 tri-series, including South Africa's Lions, formed part of their World Cup preparations.

Namibia's Super 12 highlight in the UAE a year ago came against Scotland when Trumpelmann emerged as the first bowler to take three (3) wickets in the first over of a T20 international to set up a four-wicket win.

They found life more challenging in their other five matches but gained valuable experience.

Reaching the Super 12 was enough to secure their berth in Australia this year.

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Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

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