July 20, 2024

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Namibia: Eagles Aim to Soar in the Windies

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The national cricket team, the Richelieu Eagles fly off today to embark on their third successive T20 World Cup in the West Indies.

After years of underperfoming on the international stage, Namibia’s T20 World Cup debut in the UAE in 2021 heralded in a new era of success, as they reached the Super 12s knockout stage to automatically qualify for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, while they are now again at the 2024 T20 World Cup after winning all their matches at the continental qualifier.

Their success has bred national pride as minister of sport, Agnes Tjongarero mentioned in her speech at their farewell function on Wednesday night.

“The Eagles are embarking on yet another remarkable journey representing our nation on the biggest international stage of them all. As the minister of sport I stand before you with immense pride and admiration for the incredible achievements of our cricket heroes. Let’s celebrate their remarkable journey,” she said.

Namibia have been drawn in the toughest group of the lot against 50-over world champions Australia, T20 world champions England, Oman and Scotland, and Tjongarero said it will be tough.

“It’s not going to be easy. No one will say, ‘oh you poor Namibia’, there’s no such thing, everybody wants to beat us, but whoever comes our way, we will show them where Namibia is.

The president of Cricket Namibia, Dr Rudie van Vuuren said their disappointment at losing by 27 runs to the UAE at the previous world cup, which prevented them from reaching the Super 12s again, had led to a new direction for Cricket Namibia.

“There were tears and a lot of sadness in the dressing room after that defeat in Geelong, Australia. I said we have to look ourselves in the eye and tell each other that we are never going to feel like this again. And to reach that goal we are going to download the next version of Cricket Namibia, the 2.0 version I call it, over the next four years.”

He said the Namibian Cricket Board made a ‘bloodless autopsy’ and drew up a list of their goals and requirements and started developing a high performance programme and coach, strength and conditioning, nutrition, mental training, rehabilitation, age group development and databases on all players, as well as the development and upgrading of facilities, inter alia.

“Today, if we reflect back on that – we are building a new stadium, we see young players coming through the rankings, Oscar (Nauhaus) is our full time high performance coach, with a database on our players, so I’m very proud of how far we have come,” Van Vuuren said.

By Namibia

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