Namibia Joins 'The Big Dance'

THE International Cricket Council has confirmed the fixtures for next year's T20 World Cup, with Namibia competing in Group B in the first round of the global event which takes place towards the end of 2020 in Australia.

Namibia booked a place at the tournament, nicknamed 'The Big Dance' after finishing fourth at last week's T20 Qualifier in Dubai, where the top six nations all qualified for the World Cup.

These six qualifying nations have been divided into two groups where they will compete in the first round of the World Cup next year.

Namibia have been drawn in Group B along with other qualifiers, the Netherlands and Scotland, as well as Bangladesh, who are currently ranked ninth in the world.

Group A will consist of qualifiers Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Oman, and Sri Lanka, who are ranked seventh in the world.

All of Namibia's Group A matches will take place at the 20 000-capacity Bellerive Oval in Hobart, with their first match against Bangladesh on 19 October, to be followed by Scotland two days later and the Netherlands on 23 October.

The top two teams in each group will then qualify for the second round, or the 'Super 12 Stage' where they will come up against the world's top T20 nations.

The winner of Group B will qualify for Group Two of the Super 12's, where they will compete against India, England, South Africa, Afghanistan and the runner-up in Group A, while the runner-up in Group B will qualify for Group One where they will meet Pakistan, Australia, West Indies, New Zealand and the winner of Group A.

The T20 World Cup matches will take place at seven host cities across Australia, at some of the world's iconic cricket stadiums like the 100 000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Club, the 53 000-capacity Adelaide Oval and the 46 000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground.

ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Local Organising Committee CEO, Nick Hockley, said:

"We are thrilled to be welcoming Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland to Australia for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020.

"We know that all 16 men's teams will receive the warmest welcome and fantastic support from fans living here in Australia and those visiting from around the world."

Cricket Namibia, meanwhile, will launch its 'roadshow' next Monday, 11 November with the aim of creating awareness and to grow the game in Namibian communities.

The roadshow will be launched at Wanderers Sports Ground at 12h00 when young cricketers will be able to meet members of Namibia's national squad.

The roadshow will continue to Okahandja, Otjiwarongo and Outjo on 13 and 14 November; Gobabis, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund on 18 to 22 November; and Rehoboth, Mariental and Keetmanshoop on 20 to 22 November.

On Tuesday, Cricket Namibia also delivered the first of five portable pitches to support public schools in Namibia. The portable pitch was handed over to Parkies Primary School, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Cricket Namibia, to grow the game of cricket, with the following goals:

To increase team and players' participation in official leagues, to participate in FNB mini-cricket; and to develop teachers' knowledge and skills by attending annual coaching courses and workshops.

Cricket Namibia CEO, Johan Muller, said it was part of their new strategy to uplift cricket at public schools.

"We aim to increase participation through the provision of a conducive playing surface. We believe that this will improve the quality of the cricket played," he said.

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