Eagles eye top spot in T20 group

Namibia’s new Captain, Stephen Baard in action during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015.

The Cricket National team left for South Africa on Thursday to compete in the T20 Africa Cup in the mining town of Kimberley. The 16-team event, will see 13 South African provincial sides compete with Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya and will run until 4 October.

The Eagles are in pool C alongside the provincial teams Griqualand West, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Province. They are scheduled to face Griqualand West in their first encounter on Saturday (13:00) before taking on KwaZulu-Natal (16:30) on the same day. On Sunday they will see them battle it out with Eastern Province (10:00).
The 13 provincial sides will each be allowed to field a maximum of four franchise players and one international. “This tournament is an exciting new concept for our cricket,” Haroon Lorgat, the Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO, said. The four group winners will advance to the semi-finals.
Stephen Baard will captain the Namibian side for the first time. The Right-hand batsman delivered an impressive performance during the T20 World Cup Qualifier in July by scoring the most runs of the entire tournament.
He managed a massive 309 runs for his team. Second placed runs scorer Ben Cooper of the Netherlands got 241 runs – 68 less than the Namibian.
“It’s somewhat a new start for us in terms of the new management. Although the group of players is more or less the same as the group that went to the T20 Qualifiers, we have a new outlook and approach to things. Also with me being elected to captain the team,” Baard said.
In terms of the teams expectations he underlined: “Our aim is to end first in the group, although the competition is obviously very though. It will be a good challenge.”
It will also be the first time for Dee Thakur to coach the team at a major tournament. Thakur was appointed the new senior team coach last month.
Baard further explained that working with Thakur has been very positive so far. “Personally I have enjoyed working with him and I think the rest of the team as well. He understands how the players think and that is very positive.”
The team is as follows: Stephen Baard (C), Nikolaas Scholtz, J.P. Kotze, Zane Groenewald, Gerhard Erasmus, Bernhard Scholtz, Helao Ya France, Christiaan snyman, Johan Wessels, Craig Williams, Sarel Burger, Gerrie Snyman. Coach; Dee Thakur, Assistant coach; Norbert Nyamande, Manager; Andre Schmidlin.