Cricket Namibia to take on Hong Kong

WINDHOEK: Namibia’s senior cricket team will face Hong Kong in Windhoek at the Wanderers Sports Club fields on Sunday as part of the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League (WCL) Championships.

A media statement issued by Cricket Namibia’s Chief Executive Officer Donovan Zealand on Wednesday said the team has been preparing intensively for the last six weeks.

The Intercontinental Cup is the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) four-day, first-class competition for leading Associate and Affiliate Members (AMs).

It is part of the council’s development programme and designed to allow Associate Members of the ICC the chance to play first-class cricket matches against teams of similar skill.

Zealand explained that the competition first took place in 2004 but it now takes on greater significance with the winner in 2017 challenging the 10th-ranked full member for the opportunity to play test cricket.

“Besides Hong Kong, Namibia will compete against Ireland, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Netherlands over the two-year span in search of promotion,” he said.

He added that on 15 May, the Namibian One Day International (ODI) team will take on Hong Kong in their first ICC World Cricket League Championships match.

Namibia’s cricket team qualified after being placed second in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two here at the beginning of the year.

“Ireland and Afghanistan will not compete in the tournament as both of them have been made eligible to qualify for the 2019 World Cup directly via rankings. Instead, Kenya and Nepal have been included in the tournament,” Zealand said.

The WCL Championship is the ICC’s premier 50-over competition for the leading Associate Members.

The top countries at the end of 2017 will earn direct passage into the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers 2018, while the winner will also have the opportunity to challenge for a place on the ICC’s ODI Rankings from 2018 onwards.