Namibia enters the T20 World Cup qualifier as dangerous dark horses
ICC – Fourteen teams are participating in the qualifying tournament. In Group A are Scotland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Singapore, Kenya and Bermuda. In Group B are hosts UAE, Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria.
Having had a dream year so far, Namibia will go into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in Dubai as one of the most dangerous sides when they meet the Netherlands in their opening match in Dubai on Saturday.
Placed 19th on the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, Namibia take part in the T20 Qualifier as an assured side.
Gerhard Erasmus’s team started off by winning the 2019 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in April – also securing one-day international status for the first time since 2003.
They then lifted the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Region Qualifier Final trophy in May.
Namibia have not lost a game with T20I status so far, and will thus be one of the favourites to make it to the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
In fact, they have lost just one out of 12 international games this year.
With five wins in six games, Namibia finished second in the ICC World T20 Africa Region Qualifier C standings in 2018, behind Botswana, who were unbeaten in the competition.
However, in the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Region Qualifier Final earlier this year, Namibia turned the tables to emerge as tournament winners.
Namibia have never qualified for the main event, but they came so close in the T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2012.
They finished third on the points table, as the first two teams – Ireland and Afghanistan – advanced to the 2012 T20 World Cup.
They previously participated in the Cricket World Cup in 2003.
A key player for Namibia is JP Kotze. Namibia’s first and only centurion in both the limited-overs formats, he is their most important batsman. He has scored 121 runs at 60.50 in three T20I appearances, and has a terrific strike-rate of 189.06.
His sensational 148 against Hong Kong earlier this year was vital in Namibia securing ODI status.