Nepal have become something of an enigma in the world of associate cricket in recent years. Promising much, they can sometimes fail to deliver, letting down their passionate fan base.
Their record outside of Asia leaves a little to be desired. Their win at World Cricket League Division 3 in Bermuda in 2013 is their sole promotion from a WCL tournament outside Asia. That promotion qualified them for the World Cup Qualifier last year, where their only win was in the ninth place play-off against a rather hapless Ugandan side.
Africa is very much virgin territory for Nepalese cricket, with their only previous visit there being for a four-day Intercontinental Cup qualification play-off match against Namibia in Windhoek. That match was drawn - with Namibia well on top - so Nepal will be hoping their return to the Namibian capital is a much more successful one.
Their record against their opponents in this tournament is variable. They have won three out of five contests with fellow promoted side Uganda, beat Kenya in two out of three matches, but have never beaten Canada, Namibia or the Netherlands. Recent 50 over form for Nepal is something of a mixed bag. At the ACC Premier League in May last year, they beat Malaysia and ODI status teams Hong Kong and UAE, but lost to WCL5 team Oman and rivals Afghanistan.
Their preparation tour of South Africa has seen them play three matches against opponents of varying standards. It started with a match against an Eastern Academy XI, with the game reduced to 30 overs by rain. The home side scored 202 from their overs, and Nepal lost by 57 runs.
The second match saw them bounce back with a 64 run win over the Mpumalanga Cricket Union, skipper Paras Khadka scoring 79. Khadka then starred in their final match against an Eastern Invitational XI in Johannesburg. He took 3-36 as Nepal bowled their opponents out for 256 and then scored an unbeaten 123 as they completed a seven wicket win.
As his performance in those latter two warm-up matches shows, Paras Khadka is likely to be the key man for Nepal. When he plays well - especially with the bat - Nepal play well. The rest of the batting line up isn't as brittle as it perhaps once was, and the wicket of Khadka doesn't lead to the collapse it once invariably did.
Gyanendra Malla was their top scorer at WCL3, largely thanks to a century against Singapore which was the highest score of that tournament. He scored 53 in their final warm-up match in South Africa, and Nepal will be looking to him to contribute in Namibia.
Whilst Nepal's batting has been accused of being rather inconsistent, the same cannot be said about their bowling. One of the most economical bowling attacks in the tournament, they famously didn't bowl a single wide or no-ball in last year's World Twenty20.
Basant Regmi was the leading wicket taker at WCL Division Three with 14 wickets, and is in fact the leading wicket-taker in the history of the World Cricket League with 96 wickets. It would be a brave person who bet against him becoming the first player to take 100 World Cricket League wickets during this tournament.
Shakti Gauchan is another key member of the Nepal bowling attack, and is the holder of one of the most economical bowling figures in international one-day cricket, having taken three wickets for just two runs in a 10 over spell against Malaysia back in 2012.
Pace has long been lacking in the Nepal bowling line-up, but they appeared to rectify that in 2014 with the emergence of Sompal Kami. The pace bowler, who will turn 19 shortly after the end of the tournament, has added an extra dimension to the Nepal attack in recent months. He can bowl well in all three formats too, showing his skill in the longest form on a recent tour of Sri Lanka where he took 18 wickets at an average of just 10.06.
Kami is also capable of scoring useful runs down the order, often quickly. In Nepal's recent Twenty20 International against Hong Kong, he scored 40 from 31 balls batting at number 10, helping Nepal recover from 25-8 and almost winning the game for them. It was the highest score ever in T20Is by a number 10. He is certainly showing signs of becoming Nepal's leading all-rounder over the next few years.
The Cricket Association of Nepal - though marred in various governance problems in recent times - appears confident of Nepal's progression from this tournament. They recently introduced central contracts to their leading players, with the best earning just over US$4,000 annually, well above the average salary in the country.
Promotion to the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League Championship is therefore key, otherwise CAN could find themselves paying the players for not that much international cricket. A lot will depend on which Nepal turns up - the battling one that can compete against almost anybody, or the brittle one that collapses when a couple of players perform badly. One thing you can certainly say about Nepal - they're certainly unpredictable.
Nepal WCLd2 Fixtures:
17 Jan - Nepal v Uganda (Wanderers Affies)
18 Jan - Nepal v Netherlands (United)
19 Jan - Rest/reserve day
20 Jan - Nepal v Canada (Wanderers)
21 Jan - Nepal v Namibia (United)
22 Jan - Rest/reserve day
23 Jan - Nepal v Kenya (Wanderers Affies)
24 Jan - Final (Wanderers), 3rd v 4th play-off (United), 5th v 6th play-off (Wanderers Affies)
All matches are scheduled to start at 09.30 local time.