Cricket Under 19’s off to Botswana for world cup qualifiers

The Cricket Under 19 Women’s National Team will leave for Gaborone, Botswana on Thursday afternoon to participate in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers taking place from 03 to 12 September.

Speaking at the official send-off ceremony, head coach Francoise van der Merwe said the team will play to win the tournament and qualify for the world cup set for South Africa in January.

“Preparations have been wonderful. The team played various matches against South African provincial sides in July as well as played in lots of T20 matches this year. They also played against the under 13 boys at the coast. Everyone is confident and playing well. We are looking forward to the tournament,” he said.

Van der Merwe said they know their opponents are preparing well for the qualifying tournament, but he was backing Namibia to win the tournament.

The coach said every player’s confidence was high and they were on form with most of them being able to score more than 50 runs in the T20s.

“Whenever you represent the country there is always pressure. It is part of the sport, so we have prepared for that. Everyone knows their role within the team. They need just to focus on their roles and control the controllable,” he concluded.

Team captain and National Senior team batswoman Eddell van Zyl echoed her coach’s views saying the games in South Africa helped them identify their shortcomings which gave them ample time to rectify them.

“We will go there knowing what we want to achieve. We are totally focused to play and we will take it game by game. As a senior player and captain I have a huge role to play in guiding the younger newer players who have not played international cricket,” she said.

The under-19 team has three players who have played for the senior national team, namely Maria Nguali, Mekelaye Mwatile and Van Zyl.

There are nine teams participating in the qualifiers with Namibia drawn in group B with the hosts, Uganda and Sierra Leone while group A will consist of Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Malawi and Mozambique.

The top two from each group will then go into the semi-finals before the winner of the final and then celebrates a ticket to the world cup proper in South Africa.

Final Squad; Mekelaye Mwatile, Maria Nguali, Naomi Benjamin, Edelle van Zyl (c), Hertha Kaukungwa, Alice Kaukungwa, Kaylee van Wyk, Kayli Nel, Engela van der Merwe, Saima Tuhadeleni, Antone Boshoff, Mezerly !Gorases, Jessica Moolman and Jorinda Fourie

Source: The Namibian Press Agency