Namibia ready to maul Nepal

Namibia ready to maul Nepal

THE Namibian national cricket side will be looking for a clean sweep against the visiting Nepal cricket side in their four-day match starting this morning at Wanderers.

The Namibian team has one of its best line-ups for the match, which is part of the ICC’s Intercontinental Cup playoffs that will decide the eighth and final team for the top competition for non-test-playing countries. The Namibians will have to redeem themselves after they failed to qualify for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Cup last year.The World Cup will be held in the West Indies next year.Namibian captain Deon Kotze, who has been recalled to the team after he stepped down immediately after the country missed out on a spot at the World Cup, said the team was well prepared for the match.Kotze told The Namibian Sport yesterday that they had a good line-up for the match and he was confident that they would make a clean sweep.Namibia had a comfortable win over Nepal in that country about five years ago, but this time around, the visitors might give the home side a different challenge.Kotze disagrees.He said most of the Namibian players are familiar with conditions at the highest level and have played many matches together.”Wanderers is the home of Namibian cricket and of course we have home-ground advantage.The field looks great and it will be ideal for us, as we know it well by now,” he said.He urged Namibians to come in numbers to support the team in their first top-level match of the year.The most experienced players in the Namibian side are Kotze, JB Burger, Sarel Burger, Louis Burger, Gerrie Snyman, Stephan Swanepoel, Bjorn Kotze, Hugo Ludik and Dawid Botha.The younger players are under-19 World Cup touring pair Nikolaas Scholtz and Henno Prinsloo, who have been included as 12th and 13th men.Ian van Zyl, who plays in South Africa for the Limpopo Province, is also in the squad, while Kola Burger from the Oshakati Cricket Club has also been included.Experienced batsman and wicket keeper Morne Karg, who plays for United in Windhoek, has retired from international cricket and will only concentrate on playing for his club.Meanwhile, the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has named a 13-member national squad for the match.The Nepal cricket website reports that Aamir Akhtar and under-19 hero Basant Regmi are two new faces in the national team while off-spinner Sanjam Regmi, under-19 vice captain Paras Khadka and pacer Avaya Rana missed the national squad.Paras chose to opt out of the team to concentrate on his studies.All-rounder Aamir, who played for Nepal in the 2000 under-19 Cricket World Cup, has been playing professional cricket in England and Scotland.Binod Das has been retained as captain while Shakti Gauchan made it to the team despite an eye injury sustained by a raising delivery from Dhirendra Chand during practice.Dhirendra, opener Paresh Lohani, under-19 captain Kanishka Chaugai, leg-spinner Raj Kumar Pradhan, Sharad Vesawkar, Gyanendra Malla, wicket-keeper Manoj Katuwal and Raju Basnet are all in the team.Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) only asked for 12 players and two officials, CAN is sponsoring an extra cricketer, the website said.Roy Dias will be the coach while Sri Niwas Rana has been appointed the manager.The match is a do-or-die fixture for Nepal, as the winner qualifies for the eight-team ICC Intercontinental Cup.Nepal must win the match to qualify, while a draw would be enough for Namibia for the qualification, as they are ranked higher than Nepal.The Namibians will have to redeem themselves after they failed to qualify for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Cup last year.The World Cup will be held in the West Indies next year.Namibian captain Deon Kotze, who has been recalled to the team after he stepped down immediately after the country missed out on a spot at the World Cup, said the team was well prepared for the match.Kotze told The Namibian Sport yesterday that they had a good line-up for the match and he was confident that they would make a clean sweep.Namibia had a comfortable win over Nepal in that country about five years ago, but this time around, the visitors might give the home side a different challenge.Kotze disagrees.He said most of the Namibian players are familiar with conditions at the highest level and have played many matches together.”Wanderers is the home of Namibian cricket and of course we have home-ground advantage.The field looks great and it will be ideal for us, as we know it well by now,” he said.He urged Namibians to come in numbers to support the team in their first top-level match of the year.The most experienced players in the Namibian side are Kotze, JB Burger, Sarel Burger, Louis Burger, Gerrie Snyman, Stephan Swanepoel, Bjorn Kotze, Hugo Ludik and Dawid Botha.The younger players are under-19 World Cup touring pair Nikolaas Scholtz and Henno Prinsloo, who have been included as 12th and 13th men.Ian van Zyl, who plays in South Africa for the Limpopo Province, is also in the squad, while Kola Burger from the Oshakati Cricket Club has also been included.Experienced batsman and wicket keeper Morne Karg, who plays for United in Windhoek, has retired from international cricket and will only concentrate on playing for his club.Meanwhile, the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has named a 13-member national squad for the match.The Nepal cricket website reports that Aamir Akhtar and under-19 hero Basant Regmi are two new faces in the national team while off-spinner Sanjam Regmi, under-19 vice captain Paras Khadka and pacer Avaya Rana missed the national squad.Paras chose to opt out of the team to concentrate on his studies.All-rounder Aamir, who played for Nepal in the 2000 under-19 Cricket World Cup, has been playing professional cricket in England and Scotland.Binod Das has been retained as captain while Shakti Gauchan made it to the team despite an eye injury sustained by a raising delivery from Dhirendra Chand during practice.Dhirendra, opener Paresh Lohani, under-19 captain Kanishka Chaugai, leg-spinner Raj Kumar Pradhan, Sharad Vesawkar, Gyanendra Malla, wicket-keeper Manoj Katuwal and Raju Basnet are all in the team.Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) only asked for 12 players and two officials, CAN is sponsoring an extra cricketer, the website said.Roy Dias will be the coach while Sri Niwas Rana has been appointed the manager.The match is a do-or-die fixture for Nepal, as the winner qualifies for the eight-team ICC Intercontinental Cup.Nepal must win the match to qualify, while a draw would be enough for Namibia for the qualification, as they are ranked higher than Nepal.

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