Taking Namibia’s Cricket World Cup dreams with them
WINDHOEK, Nov. 05 — MultiChoice Namibia, in its quest to continue #AnchoringForSuccess as the country’s ICT leader, has been supporting the national side’s journey to the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup tournament.
The company does so as the home of SuperSport – the only group of TV channels offering live, blow-by-blow action of every T20 World Cup match as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes and highlights content.
“As a pioneer in technology in Namibia, we are proud to bring the best entertainment to fellow Namibians through the Cricket World Cup. We look forward to the Eagles showcasing even more of their incredible talent to the world and wish them luck for the remaining matches,” said Roger Gertze, Managing Director.
The national team proved its mettle in the opening round of the international championship in what some are calling ‘an African fairy tale’ and believes that the dreams of the nation can carry it all the way to the final, winning the ball.
“This is an exciting time for the team as well as the future of cricket in Namibia. We understand there is a lot of pressure on us to perform. But we have had tremendous support from family, friends, and the public from across Namibia, and have trained hard to get to this point. So we really just want to make everyone back home proud, and inspire the future generations to come,” top-order batsman, Craig Williams, told MultiChoice Namibia from Abu Dhabi.
So far, Namibia’s team, better known as the Eagles, made an impressive mark by securing a place in the Super 12 after a stunning win against Ireland in October. As a result of their games, national cricketer and all-rounder David Wiese has been nominated for the ICC October player of the month award.
At number 19 in the world, Namibia is the lowest-ranked team in the tournament. But what the team lacks in world standing, it makes up for in spirit, hard work, and determination.
“It has not been an easy road to get to the World Cup. There were two tough qualification rounds to get through first, but the team is positive and has been playing consistently good cricket leading up to the tournament,” Williams said.
Namibia has not featured in an ICC World Cup in 18 years. Since the team’s last World Cup effort in 2003, it has always managed to stay in Division 2 of the ICC rankings. However, in order to compete at the top level, significant improvements to the team needed to be made.
“Our training, mindset, sport professionalism, team dynamics, and team culture all had to change,” Williams explained. “Towards the end of 2018, a new board was elected, which put together a highly professional coaching team. The new coaches, Pierre De Bruyn (head coach) and Albie Morkel (consultant) are internationally recognized coaches. They set about transforming and changing the team into a professional outfit. Three months of hard training and the adoption of a non-negotiable team culture started to pay off, and soon we were racking up the wins. Since the beginning of 2019, we have really grown from strength to strength, gaining One Day International status and qualifying for the T20 World Cup.”
Namibia’s Dream Team comprises batsmen Stephan Baard, Karl Birkenstock, Jan Nicol Lofie-Eaton, Bernand Scholtz, Michael van Lingen, Craig Williams, and Picky Ya France; wicketkeepers Michau du Preez and Zane Green; and all-rounders Jan Frylinck, JJ Smit, David Wiese, and Gerhard Erasmus. Mauritius Ngupita is the reserve.
It’s been non-stop action since the tournament started, with the team first taking on Sri Lanka, followed by The Netherlands and Ireland. Although Sri Lanka claimed victory in the team’s World Cup opening match, the Eagles fought back hard in games two and three, winning by six wickets and eight wickets respectively.
Not only did this secure Namibia’s spot in the Super 12 second round, but also guaranteed the country’s participation in the 2022 tournament in Australia.
As always, SuperSport is bringing cricket fans all the action, ensuring they don’t miss a thing. “SuperSport viewers are really in for a spectacle!” Williams enthused. “T20 cricket is exciting and filled with action. Due to the short format, any team can win on the day, which really makes for thrilling viewing!”
Fans can expect more action from the Namibian team through a battle against New Zealand on Friday, 05 November at 11:30, while India takes on Namibia on Monday, 08 November at 15:30. Our DStv Business team is currently hosting activations at Benchwarmers in Klein Windhoek, where cricket fans can join us in support of our national team, as well as have insight into our revamped packages, on offer to various businesses.