Namibia FlagNamibia Squad
Current ranking5 (ICC) 5 (CricketEurope)
ODI record since 2007 World Cup Played 9 Won 2 Lost 7 NR 3
Group phase schedule 1 April: Uganda, Stan Friedman Oval
2 April: Uganda, LC de Villiers Oval
4 April: Namibia, LC de Villiers Oval
6 April: Ireland, Stan Friedman Oval
8 April: Scotland, Wits University
Key playersGerrie Snyman, Jan Berry Burger, Sahel Burger
Wise Old HeadDeon Kotze
Emerging playersCraig Williams, Bernard Scholtz
CoachJohan Rudolph
PreparationVisit by Zimbabwe A, plus South African Provincial One-Day Challenge

Namibia are widely regarded as the Associate side most likely to break into the top six, and most things seem to be working in their favour going into the World Cup Qualifier.

They are coming out of a successful South African season, where they have produced their best one-day effort ever and have continued to build up valuable experience in the longer form of the game, and they will be playing under familiar conditions after three years in South African domestic cricket.

Namibia team (photo by ICC)On the other hand, they will be missing two key players, in opening batsman Stefan Swanepoel (unavailable because of work commitments) and fast man Kola Burger.

But in Gerrie Snyman they have one of the outstanding allrounders in Associates cricket, a wicket-taking seamer as well as a devastatingly aggressive batsman, and with Louis Klazinga, Bjorn Kotze and Sahel Burger he forms part of a seam attack which is likely to be as effective as any in the tournament.

The spin department is a greater cause for concern: veteran off-spinner Deon Kotze has taken only two wickets in three games in the South African one-day competition, but the inclusion of nineteen-year-old left-armer Bernard Scholtz in the squad is an interesting pointer for the future.

The main issue, however, is the batting, which has struggled somewhat in one-day matches this season.

Much will depend on Snyman – when he comes off with the bat, Namibia are undoubtedly capable of posting big totals. But they will need a greater degree of consistency from the rest of the top and middle order if they are to finish near the top of this tournament.

It will be interesting to see whether, in the absence of Swanepoel, Jan Berry Burger reverts to an opening role with Louis van der Westhuizen, and the Namibians will also be looking to allrounders Sahel Burger and Craig Williams and skipper Louis Burger to make significant contributions with the bat.

The opening game, against Uganda, will be a key test for both sides: when they met in the World Cricket League fourteen months ago, Namibia were bowled out for 145, but were rescued by a five-wicket haul from Snyman as the Ugandans collapsed to 118 all out.

Both sides have developed a good deal since then, and this match will be an indication of how competitive they are likely to be in the weeks ahead.

Scotland and Canada are then the Namibians’ next opponents, and they will need to win at least one of those matches if they are to have any realistic chance of joining the top sides in Division 1 of the WCL.