20 June 2019

Namibia: Titans to Tour Namibia

Namibia's senior men's cricket team will host the Multiply Titans for a two-match T20 series at the end of the month.

Although it will not be a full strength team, the Titans, who are the most successful South African cricket franchise, are sure to provide tough opposition for Namibia, as well as valuable experience ahead of further international engagements later this year.

Namibian coach Pierre de Bruyn on Wednesday confirmed the tour, saying they can expect tough opposition.

"They will send a strong team, but not a full-strength squad, because they are also using the tour to give some upcoming players an opportunity. However, they have a lot of depth and they will include former Proteas captain Farhaan Behardien, while Albie Morkel will turn out for them for a last time," he said.

Morkel, who is De Bruyn's assistant coach for the Namibian national team, was a top all-rounder for the Titans and South Africa, before retiring earlier this year.

The Titans will play two T20 matches against Namibia, in Walvis Bay on Friday, 28 June, and in Windhoek two days later. The first match will take place at the Sparta Cricket Ground, starting at 13h30, and the second at the Trustco United Sports Ground in Windhoek, starting at 13h00.

De Bruyn said the Titans requested the matches and they were proud to host them.

"We are proud to welcome the Titans as they have set standards to aspire to on and off the field. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship," he said.

The Titans tour will also provide valuable experience for Namibia ahead of a busy international season later in the year.

In September, they open their campaign in the Cricket World Cup League Division 2 in the United States, with a Tri-Nations tournament against the USA United and Papua New Guinea.

In October, Namibia will compete in a T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai where the top six teams will qualify for the 2020 T20 World Cup.

According to De Bruyn the Titans tour will provide some up and coming players, as well as coaches a chance to gain experience. De Bruyn is currently the acting CEO of Cricket Namibia after the recent resignation of Peter Forster, and in his absence, Fortune Matawu and Lauritz Haccou have been selected to coach two Namibian sides for the two encounters.

"I'm the acting CEO at the moment so I cant do both roles, but this will be a great opportunity for some of our upcoming coaches to gain experience," he said.

The Namibian teams will be captained by Gerhard Erasmus and include several established national players like vice captain Jan Frylinck, Stephen Baard, Pikkie Ya France, JP Kotze, JJ Smit, Bernard Scholtz, Zane Green, Zhivago Groenewald and Tangeni Lungameni, as well as some up and coming young players like Lohan Louwrens, Ben Shikongo, Mauritius Ngupita and Mathew Stander.

The coastal team will be managed by Dee Thakur, with Haccou as the head coach and Matawu as his assistant coach, while the Windhoek team will be coached by Matawu, with Haccou as his assistant and Thakur as the manager.

A Namibian women's cricket match between invitational teams consisting of national u19 and u16 players will also take place as a curtain raiser for the second Titans encounter in Windhoek.

According to a press release issued by Cricket Namibia, entrance to the matches will be free of charge while a fun day for the whole family can be expected.

"This will be a great tournament where you can expect many fun games, engaging activities and amazing prizes to be won on Sunday, 30 June," it said.

De Bruyn, meanwhile, said that they had completed the interviews for the CEO position and that an announcement will be made soon.

"There were some very good applicants and the board now has a difficult decision to make," he said.

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