Both groups additionally carry a number of South African names as they appear to deflect stress forward of the match’s opening spherical
When requested concerning the expectation dealing with Associate nations eager to punch above their weight on the most important stage, Seelaar put the ball firmly in Group A favourites Sri Lanka’s court docket, saying, “Sri Lanka need to go through; we want to go through, so that’s the difference,” earlier than Erasmus chipped in with, “Maybe I will grab the underdog tag from Pieter and we’ll go with that.”
There have been chuckles throughout however in actuality each captains are feeling the immense weight they carry forward of what may very well be crucial week in a lot of their cricketing careers.
Netherlands had not certified for both of the final two 50-over World Cups and didn’t make it to the second spherical of the final T20 World Cup and need to rebuild their fame as one of many stronger “smaller” sides. Namibia have by no means been at a T20 World Cup and haven’t performed in an main occasion for the reason that 2003 World Cup and imagine they will surpass these glory days nearly twenty years later.
While neither Erasmus nor Seelaar was keen to label themselves their nation’s greatest simply but, they each imagine they’ve the elements to fly their flags excessive, albeit a few of their key parts come from elsewhere. Incidentally, the identical elsewhere.
“Not only does he bring skills with bat, ball and in the field but he has been to a lot of tournaments and brings a lot of experience having played around the world,” Erasmus mentioned. “He has been amazing with fitting in the changeroom and he is only going to add value to this tournament.”
While neither Namibia nor Netherlands performed any T20 cricket within the pandemic-affected yr of 2020, they’re each fairly proud of the current preparation they’ve had, particularly Namibia. “We’ve been able to play a lot of cricket back home. Coming from winter, we had to go and find our own cricket. We managed to do that right around Southern Africa,” Erasmus mentioned.
Namibia hosted Uganda, a Zimbabwean and South African Emerging aspect, and a South African home crew, Titans, which included Test captain Dean Elgar and who Namibia beat. “All those teams brought different challenges. You can’t get anything better than playing lots of games of cricket but we’re a bit over the warm-up games now and we’re raring to go.”
Seelaar and his aspect really feel the identical. They received the qualifying occasion for this match nearly two years in the past and are eager to see if they will carry out as effectively now as they did then. On paper, they’re in all probability thought of to be as doubtless as Ireland to progress to the primary draw however Seelaar was not going to go there. “There’s no clear favourite and no weak side,” he mentioned, earlier than having one other little dig at Sri Lanka. “I wouldn’t say Sri Lanka is going to go through, they are going to have a hard time beating all three of us.”
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent