Namibia’s national cricket team, the Eagles is currently in the final preparation phase ahead of their quest to qualify for the ICC’s T20 World Cup in India next year.
The 15-men squad, led by skipper Nicolaas Scholtz, left this week Thursday for the United Kingdom (UK) where they will engage in some practice matches before two more preparation encounters against Scotland and Canada in Scotland on 6 and 7 July.
The actual qualifying tournament is set to kick-off on 9 July in Scotland and Ireland.
The Eagles will be one of 14 nations that will compete for a place amongst the top six nations that will qualify for the international showpiece come 2016. The two group winners will automatically qualify for the World Cup, while the other two places will be determined by play-off matches between the remaining nations.
Namibia has been drawn into group A alongside the defending champions Ireland, Nepal, United States, Jersey, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.
Although a in a different format, the Namibians faced Nepal and Hong Kong this year already and should be – to a certain extend – familiar with their playing abilities. The Nepalese triumphed over the Namibia’s during their League Division 2 Tournament game in Windhoek at the beginning of the year, albeit the Asians didn’t manage to reach the final where Namibia eventually fell short to the Netherlands.
In more recent times, the Eagles had two different encounters against Hong Kong. In the two teams first ICC Intercontinental game, Namibia cruised to a convincing win in front of their home crowd in Windhoek. Over the two World Cricket League Championship games thereafter, Namibia and Hong Kong shared the spoils, winning a game apiece.
The United States, Jersey and Papua New Guinea are the underdogs of the group. But they can all spring a surprise.
Group B consist of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Afghanistan, Scotland, Netherlands, Canada, Kenya and Oman.
The Namibian team is as follows: Nicolaas Scholtz (captain), Raymond van Schoor, Gerrie Snyman, Craig Williams, Sarel Burger, Gerhard Erasmus, JP Kotze, Christopher Coombe, Bernard Scholtz, JJ Smit, Stephan Baard, Tiaan Snyman, Zhivago Groenewald, Jason Davidson and Louis Klazinga. Head coach Doug Watson will be assisted by Rangarirai Manyande and Bjorn Kotze as Bowling Coach.