Full programme ahead for the Eagles

Tangeni Lungameni in action for Namibia. File photo

With Namibia’s Richelieu Eagles qualification for next year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 Men’s World Cup, the senior national side has a daunting schedule starting in January 2024.

In a recent interview with Desert Radio, Cricket Namibia (CN) chief executive officer Johan Muller revealed a full programme of matches as part of their preparation for the T20 World Cup to be hosted by the West Indies and the United States of America (USA) in June 2024.

The Eagles will start their preparations early in the new year when they take on the Joburg Super Kings u20 side in Johannesburg in two T20 matches on 5 and 7 January. 

“We will then fly out to Nepal in February for the start of the World Cricket League Division 2 series which is a qualifying tournament for the next 50-over World Cup in 2027,” Muller said. 

“We will play Nepal and the Netherlands in the 50-over series, while we will also play a T20 tri-nations series against them afterwards,” he added. 

The Eagles will return to Namibia early in March, but will soon be on their way again when they travel to Accra, Ghana to compete in the Africa Games from 8 to 23 March. The Africa Cup will also serve as a qualifier for the 2028 Olympic Games, after cricket was recently admitted as a sport code to compete at the Olympics. 

“We will hopefully win the cup for Africa, after which we will depart for Scotland for yet another 50-over series in the Cricket World Cup League 2 tournament,” he said. 

Namibia will meet Scotland and Oman in the 50-over series in May, as well as in a 20-over tri-nations series. 

After returning from Scotland in May, Namibia will fly out to the West Indies for the T20 World Cup where they will have two or three preparation matches before the tournament gets underway on 4 June.

The 2024 ICC T20 World Cup will be the ninth edition of the biennial tournament contested by men’s national teams. It is scheduled to be hosted by the West Indies and USA from 4 to 30 June 2024. .

It will be the first ICC World Cup tournament to feature matches played in the USA. England are the defending champions. The tournament will be contested by 20 teams, an expansion from 16 teams at the 2022 tournament.

The 20 qualifying teams will be divided into four groups of five teams, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the Super 8 round. In this stage, the qualifying teams will be split into two groups of four, with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the knockout stage, which will consist of two semi-finals and a final.

Namibian cricket, meanwhile, gained further ground yesterday when the latest ICC T20 statistics were revealed, with two Namibian players, JJ Smit and captain Gehard Erasmus featuring amongst the top 10 all-rounders in the world.

Smit is ninth overall with 167 points, while Erasmus is joint-tenth with England’s Moeen Ali on 163 points. 

Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh is the top T20 all-rounder with 272 points, followed by Aiden Markram of South Africa (212) and Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan (210). 

Namibia is the only ICC associate member nation featuring amongst the top ten, while it is also the only nation with two players amongst the top ten. 

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