The six captains participating in Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div.2) have spoken about their sides’ chances in the tournament, which gets underway in Windhoek, Namibia, on Saturday.
The tournament sees Canada, Kenya, Nepal, Netherlands, Uganda and host Namibia lock horns in an eight-day, round robin tournament. The final and play-offs will be played on Saturday, 24 January, with the top two teams qualifying to play in the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2015-17 and Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship.
The opening day of the tournament will see three matches played, with host Namibia taking on Kenya at Wanderers, Netherlands squaring off against Canada at United and Uganda facing off against Nepal at Wanderers Affies.
“As the hosts we will try and use all our knowledge about the grounds and pitches to help us in performing to our best. I am really looking forward to the tournament and to play some hard, competitive cricket in the right spirit,” said Scholtz.
Kenya captain Rakep Patel is in a positive frame of mind looking ahead to the start of the tournament. “I think we fancy ourselves to do well in the tournament and in tomorrow’s match. If we click as a unit I don't see any reason why we shouldn't do well, there are fantastic individuals in our team and we just have to work together as a group. We don’t want to look too far ahead, we just have to concentrate on one game at a time and do the basics well.”
Previewing his side’s first match, Netherlands captain Peter Borren said: “The whole squad is pumped and ready to hit the ground running when we face Canada tomorrow. They are a side which we’re reasonably well-acquainted with, and a team whom we have had success against in the past. I am confident that given our fantastic preparation, we will perform to our potential. Canada have some dangerous players in their team, though we will leave no stone unturned in an effort to come out on top on the day.”
Looking ahead to the first-day clash against Netherlands, Canada skipper Jimmy Hansra said: “We are preparing for tomorrow’s game with great intensity, and focusing on our strengths. We have played against the Netherlands on a few occasions in the past, and we both need to hold our nerve during this important tournament opener. An unknown combination of turf wickets, grounds, and recent team form will have a big impact on the outcome of this game.”
Looking ahead to his side’s match against Uganda, Nepal skipper Paras Khadka said: “It is the first match in the tournament and we want to start on a positive note. We need to stick to our basics and believe in our strength and play to our potential. It is important to get a strong start as we have seen in previous Pepsi ICC World Cricket League tournaments; every team must be prepared well, so we cannot take any game or any team lightly.”
Uganda captain Frank Nsubuga said his side must start well against Nepal: “I think it is going to be a tough game as both teams are well balanced. My boys are very confident; we have played Nepal many times and we want to use that experience to perform well tomorrow.”
17 Jan – Namibia v Kenya (Wanderers), Netherlands v Canada (United), Uganda v Nepal (Wanderers Affies)
18 Jan – Namibia v Uganda (Wanderers), Nepal v Netherlands (United), Kenya v Canada (Wanderers Affies)
19 Jan – Rest/reserve day
20 Jan – Nepal v Canada (Wanderers), Kenya v Uganda (United), Namibia v Netherlands (Wanderers Affies)
21 Jan – Kenya v Netherlands (Wanderers), Namibia v Nepal (United), Canada v Uganda (Wanderers Affies)
22 Jan – Rest/reserve day
23 Jan – Netherlands v Uganda (Wanderers), Namibia v Canada (United), Nepal v Kenya (Wanderers Affies)
24 Jan – Final (Wanderers), 3rd v 4th play-off (United), 5th v 6th play-off (Wanderers Affies)
22 Dec - ICC announces squads and match officials for Pepsi ICC WCL Division 2
12 Jan - Pepsi ICC WCL Div.2 hopes to produce more success stories
13 Jan - Namibia, Canada and Nepal prepare to battle for Pepsi World Cricket League Division 2
14 Jan - Netherlands, Kenya and Uganda focused on victory in Namibia
15 Jan- Captains’ press conference announced for Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2