Namibia keen to claim place in final
ICC Media Release
Namibia head into this week's ICC Intercontinental Shield match against Uganda hopeful that it can secure a place in the final.
Namibia is on 26 points from two games, whereas Uganda is placed at 29 points from two games, with the UAE topping the table. Namibia won their game against Bermuda but lost to UAE in the other. Uganda has done better in drawing against table toppers UAE and has also beaten Bermuda.
But despite Uganda being placed at a slightly better position, Namibian captain Craig Williams is confident of pulling off a win at the United Cricket Club in Windhoek.
"We have been training for this game for five months now. Even though it is winter in Namibia, we have trained very well. We have played a lot of inter-squad games and matches against our under-19 side to prepare for Uganda," revealed Williams.
The Namibian team is reinforced by the return of some senior players from injury or forced absence.
"Kola Burger has come back from retirement. Gerri Snyman is back after playing in New Zealand. We have been intense at training and you will see that even skill wise we are better," informed Williams.
The Namibia captain is also keen to exploit the strength of his pace attack to expose Uganda's batting.
"We should have beaten UAE but dropped four catches. But now our confidence levels are high. The pitch (at United Cricket Club) will suit us because it will be fast and bouncy. In (Louis) Klazinga, Burger we have two really quick bowlers who can exploit the conditions well," reckoned Williams.
In Williams' opinion Namibia are too good for Uganda on paper. "I think we are stronger because of the knowledge of the conditions. All our batsmen have had game time in the practice games. We will come strong and hard at Uganda's batting with our pace attack," opined Williams.
Namibia's coach Johan Rudolph however was more cautious in his assessment. "Uganda is coached very well by Ebrahim Barney. I know how they operate. I would not get ahead of myself in looking at the match," said Rudolph.
Even as he sorts out the final look of his squad, Rudolph is thankful for one development.
"Right at the start of this season we centrally contracted nine of our players. This helped me in planning better; it ensured that players were present at all training sessions.
"All players, including the working guys, will be available to play all games from now on thanks to these contracts. It has made my job easier as I can plan in a better way, " said Rudolph about his third year as Namibia coach.
Rudolph believes a place in the ICC Intercontinental Shield final is one of a number of important goals for his side.
"First goal was for the Under-19s to make next year's ICC Under-19 World Cup qualifier. They have done that. Next is to beat Uganda in the (ICC Intercontinental) Shield. Then, qualify from the World Cricket League Division 2 in April 2011. We also want to do well in the Cricket South Africa competition," revealed Rudolph.