Namibian players Gerhard Erasmus and Ruben Trumpelmann took out the Associate batting and bowling honours respectively at the 2021 ESPNcricinfo Awards. In a year where the T20 World Cup afforded Associate players with a rare opportunity to showcase their skills at the global stage, the Namibian duo were justly rewarded for their impressive performances by a panel comprising of Peter Della Penna, Peter Borren and Tim Wigmore.
Captain Erasmus, who bravely played on at the World Cup despite a broken finger, won the award for his 53 not out vs Ireland at Sharjah. It was a crucial innings which helped the Namibians clinch qualification to the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, consequently also guaranteeing them a spot at this year’s repeat edition in Australia. Chasing a tricky total on a sluggish surface, Erasmus was conservative in his shot selection and displayed considerable patience. He put on an unbeaten 53 run partnership with veteran David Wiese to guide the Namibians to a 8 wicket victory with 9 balls to spare.
On the other hand, 23 year old Ruben Trumpelmann, who only became eligible for Namibia earlier in the year, took the bowling award for his 3 for 17 vs Scotland at Abu Dhabi. In an incredible first over for the big, blond left arm pacer, he ripped out the heart of the Scottish batting order by getting the wickets of stalwarts George Munsey, Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington in the space of four balls. This opening spell was instrumental in helping Namibia achieve their only win at the Super 12 stage. Belying his inexperience at international level, Trumpelmann looked and performed like a seasoned campaigner at the T20 World Cup. He bowled with sharp pace throughout, often touching 140 km/h on the speed gun and also swung the ball appreciably in the early overs.
In more good news for Namibian cricket, Trumpelmann, Wiese and JJ Smit also made the final list of the IPL 2022 Mega Auction, alongside four other Associate players from Nepal, Scotland and USA. Most or all of these players will be hopeful of picking up IPL franchise deals; especially with the tournament expanding to 10 teams from this year, offering up more overseas slots.
Namibians look forward to a busy 2022 calendar
The Namibians also have an action packed 2022 calendar to look forward to, as they build for October’s T20 World Cup in Australia. There are five rounds of Cricket World Cup (CWC) League 2 action coming up this year, whilst the Nambian A Team will also be getting plenty of game time with the aim of providing fringe players an opportunity to make their case for international selection, according to Cricket Namibia CEO Johan Muller
“With the Eagles once again competing in the T20 World Cup this year, we need to strengthen our player base, and as such several tours have been arranged where Namibia A will compete, with the aim of giving fringe national players more international opportunities,” Muller said, speaking to The Namibian.
For a full list of fixtures, please see table below.
In addition to the above, Cricket Namibia hopes to arrange a four to six teams international T20 series at the beginning of September to further provide the national squad with T20 match practice before the World Cup. So far, only the Titans (a South African franchise team) have confirmed their participation, whilst negotiations are underway with an Indian state side.
The Namibian women’s team, popularly known as Capricorn Eagles, will also have a refreshingly busy year of fixtures to look forward to. They host Uganda in April with the possible participation of Zimbabwe. There is a tour of Netherlands in July, where the Capricorn Eagles may face off against Germany in addition to the Dutch team. Finally in October, Namibia is set to host an international women’s tournament with the identity of the visiting teams yet to be confirmed.
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