Two T20 World Cup spots up for grabs

Craig Irvine in action for Zimbabwe. File photo

The last two spots for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 will be decided during the seven-team Africa Regional Qualifier, beginning in Windhoek, Namibia today, with action live and free on

Namibia will fancy their chances in claiming one of the two spots in the single round robin tournament, alongside Zimbabwe under new captain Sikandar Raza.

The teams traded blows in a bilateral series across late October, though it was Gerhard Erasmus’ side who landed the final blow at the United Cricket Club Ground, defending a meagre 101 by bowling out their rivals for just 93.

The left-arm pair of JJ Smit and spinner Bernard Scholtz claimed three wickets apiece, before another left-armer, quick Jan Frylinck, claimed the final scalp for an eight-wicket win.

Zimbabwe welcome a number of players who did not play in the preparation series, most notably Blessing Muzarabani and Sean Williams, the latter sitting out while named on tour.

Raza takes the leadership reins from Sean Ervine after the series defeat, with Ervine keeping Test and ODI positions.

The two teams were automatic qualifiers for the Regional Final by virtue of their participation at T20 World Cup 2022, with Uganda also receiving a bye to the final qualification stage via their final finishing position during the 2022 Global Qualifier.

Uganda have made waves in recent years, most notably claiming a final-over victory over Namibia in a T20I back in April 2022. The team also boasts recent victories over Namibia in matches without international status, and enjoy a 7-4 record against Kenya in T20Is since their first meeting with status in 2019. Associate cricket cult hero Frank Nsubuga, who celebrated his 43rd birthday in August, was named in the squad and shows no sign of slowing down.

Kenya meanwhile name a 42-year-old elder statesman of their own in 2003 Cricket World Cup hero Collins Obuya, and come to the tournament having to go the long way round via Regional qualifying.

The side had little trouble to finish undefeated at the Subregional A Qualifier in Rwanda to claim one of the two spots to advance, and the tournament hosts joined them as qualifiers, brushing aside their closest rivals Malawi in a rain-affected match.

At Subregional Qualifier B, Tanzania and Nigeria both went undefeated to take the two spots, with the meeting between the teams ruined by rain.

This morning’s action will see Kenya take on Rwanda at the United Ground, with Tanzania meeting Uganda at Wanderers. Day one is headlined by the afternoon clash of two favourites for qualification, with Namibia and Zimbabwe eager to claim early bragging rights at Wanderers. – 

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