Having won this tournament on the last two occasions, Ireland 's players will be in confident mood ahead of the match. Even more so with the knowledge that they have the support of the whole country, both north and south of the border.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said: 'I would like to wish captain William Porterfield and the whole Ireland team all the best as they look for their third consecutive win in the ICC Intercontinental Cup. We all fondly remember the exploits of the team during the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies last year and so it's great to see the team is still performing very well.

'All of Ireland should be proud of what the cricket team has achieved in recent years, every member of the team should be aware that their successes do not go unnoticed.

'I believe Namibia have been playing well this year and that they have some fine players who will surely be well used to the conditions in South Africa . But, if the Irish players perform to their best, there is no reason why they can't bring the cup home for a third time in a row,' said Mr Cowen.

Not to be outdone by their colleagues in the south of Ireland , First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also sent their best wishes to the team.

Mr Robinson said: 'I would like to wish William Porterfield and his team all the best as they strive for a remarkable hat-trick in the competition and they can be assured not only of our support but that of all sports enthusiasts.'

Mr McGuinness said: 'The Ireland cricket team continues to bring sporting distinction and I send my good wishes as the players prepare for the ICC Intercontinental Cup final against Namibia in South Africa .'

And in case the Namibians were feeling left out, the Minister for Youth, National Services, Sport and Culture, Rev. Willem Konjore, is sure to be keeping a close eye on the scores from his office in Windhoek.

While some pundits may put the more experienced Irish as favourites, they would do well to remember that Namibia came top of the league table in the group stage and so need only a draw to take the title. Having come second, Ireland must force an outright victory in the final to take the cup for the third time running. In the event of a tie, the title will be shared.

'I would like to extend my best wishes to the Namibia cricket team ahead of the big game against Ireland ,' said Minister Konjore.

'I know that the team has played extremely well this year and it is a great achievement to get into this final. Coming top of the group is a tribute to all the hard work, dedication and skill that they have shown over the past 18 months or so and I'm sure they will do their country proud in Port Elizabeth.

'I know that Ireland has won this competition twice before so they will not be easy to beat but under the leadership of captain Louis Burger, I feel sure that Namibia will put up a strong challenge. Namibians should be proud of the performances of their national cricket team,' he said.

Meanwhile, the two squads and the umpires for the match have been named. Ian Howell from the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires will stand in the match alongside Paul Baldwin from the ICC Associate and Affiliate International Umpires' Panel.


Namibia: Louis Burger (captain), JB Burger, Kola Burger, Sorel Burger, Louis Klazinga, Bjorn Kotze, Deon Kotze, Nicolaas Scholtz, Wilbur Slabber, Gerrie Snyman, Tobias Verwey, Louis van der Westhuizen, Craig Williams.

Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Andre Botha, Peter Connell, Alex Cusack, Phil Eaglestone, Trent Johnston, Kyle McCallan, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Regan West, Andrew White, Gary Wilson.

Umpires: Ian Howell (Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires) and Paul Baldwin (ICC Associate and Affiliate International Umpires' Panel)