With the 2003 World Cup their last appearance on the world stage, Namibia have acquired a rather unwanted reputation as creditable but middling competitors at the top level of Associates cricket.

Namibia bounced back convincingly from World Cricket League division 2, winning the league phase convincingly before losing the final to a resurgent Duch side, and followed it up with victory in the African T20 championships - undefeated except for a slip against Uganda. With a good run in the South African provincial T20 competition last season and shared honours from their two match series against Hong Kong, Doug Watson's team would have reason to feel confident ahead of the tournament.

Even in the absence of start all-rounder Christi Viljoen, who parted ways with Cricket Namibia late last year, Namibia looked a settled and solid side ahead of their arrival in Europe. Seasoned campaigners Sarel Burger and Gerrie Snyman bring some experience to a otherwise somewhat youthful top-order, though Stephaan Baard, Raymond van Schoorand Merwe Erasmus have plenty of international experience already and the former two have looked in good shape in recent months. Craig Williams also returns to the side after a prolonged absence, further strengthening a dangerous batting card.

Erasmus and Snyman have been in somewhat eratic form of late, the latter especially somehting of a concern, though the 34-year old all-rounder has a habit of saving his best for the big games.

With paceman Louis Klazinga reportedly fully fit again, Namibia came to Scotland close to full strength, so two heavy defeats in their warm-ups against Scotland and Canada certainly militate against optimism. Both Scotland and Canada - or more specifically Rizwan Cheema - highlighted a lack of discipline or penertaration in the Namibian pace attack in European conditions.

Nonethless Namibia find themselves in an eminently beatable group, and despite facing tournament favourites Ireland first-up they will be disappointed with anything but a place in the playoffs.

Star Man: Veteran Gerrie Snyman is still the key man in this Namibian side, with this likely his last shot at a swansong on the biggest stage, expect fireworks.

Players to watch: Raymond van Schoor has been in blistering form with the bat across all formats, this may just be his breakthrough tournament.

CricketEurope verdict: If they play their best cricket a top four finish in Group A should be easily achievable, but they may come unstuck in the playoffs.

NAMIBIA: Nicholas Scholtz (captain), Stephen Baard, Sarel Burger, Christopher Coombe, Jason Davidson, Michau du Preez, Gerhard Erasmus, Louis Klazinga, JP Kotze, Bernard Scholtz, JJ Smit, Christiaan Snyman, Gerrie Snyman, Raymond van Schoor, Craig Williams

Namibia fixtures:

  • 10th July: Ireland v Namibia, Stormont (1000)
  • 11th July: Nepal v Namibia, Stormont (1415)
  • 13th July: Namibia v USA, Stormont (1000)
  • 17th Namibia v Jersey, Clontarf (1000)
  • 18th July: Papua New Guinea v Namibia, Malahide (1415)
  • 19th July: Hong Kong v Namibia, Clontarf (1415)