Namibia are all set to make their maiden T20 World Cup appearance with a preliminary round fixture against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi on Monday (October 18) and their skipper Gerhard Erasmus believes his team can approach the game without fear as “pressure” is on the other side.
Erasmus, whose men performed well and helped their country qualify from the ICC global qualifier in UAE back in the 2019-20 season, says his team relishes the “permanent underdog tag”, with which comes the freedom to play their natural game.
“I think most definitely the pressure is on them to win. We are going in there with a permanent underdog tag and that is always nice, makes us nice and free,” Gerhard Erasmus was quoted as saying by the ICC in a media release.
Namibia making maiden T20 World Cup appearance under Gerhard Erasmus
The Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus also said his team would look to take advantage of the pressure that Sri Lanka, the 2014 champions, maybe feeling after slipping below in the rankings and failing to make the Super 12 stage directly. He added that he is pleased with his team’s preparations heading into the competition.
“Maybe they (Sri Lanka) are a bit under pressure because of recent results and that puts a team up for the taking, and if we do it well, we can take them down,” he said.
“We’ve played lots of T20 cricket against high-quality opposition, and we have travelled a bit so we are accustomed to playing in different conditions, playing against different skills.”
“I am more than happy with our prep and if we can bring it together for these three games, I am confident we can go through,” Erasmus added.
Namibia are entering only their second major ICC event since making an appearance at the 2003 ODI World Cup in South Africa.
The leading African associate finished fourth at the ICC T20 World Cup global qualifier, which was also played in UAE.
After Sri Lanka, Gerhard Erasmus and his men will also be facing up against Group A rivals Netherlands and Ireland on October 20 and 22 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, respectively, with an eye towards securing one of the two Super 12 slots.
But before that, coach Pierre de Bruyn said its a dream come true for him and his team to be playing their maiden T20 World Cup.
“It’s been a long wait and the players can’t wait to get going. These players have dreamt about this opportunity since they were five years old, six years old, and that dream is coming true tomorrow, so there is excitement as well as nervousness and pressure,” De Bruyn said.
(article © ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020)