Cricket Namibia goes virtual for T20

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Tiri Masawi

WINDHOEK – Cricket Namibia will hope that the gods smile on the world and allow the national side to participate in its maiden Twenty20 World Cup later this year.

Unable to camp with their South Africa-based coaches, Namibia’s players are going through their paces via virtual instructions, as the cricket establishment keeps faith that current restrictions on sporting activities because of the global outbreak of COVID-19 will not result in a cancellation of the World Cup.

Namibia’s cricket coaches have been holed up in South Africa for months now since the countries closed their borders to non-essential travel in a bid to halt the spread of the deadly virus.

That has not stopped coaches and players from doing their best to prepare for the T20 Cricket World Cup.

Training sessions are ongoing at Wanderers Sports Field in Windhoek, albeit in an environment curtailed by the new normal of social distancing.

During a recent visit to Wanderers by The Southern Times Sports, batsmen and bowlers were in the nets, with their coaches relaying instructions on tablets and through PA systems.

Cricket Namibia CEO Johan Muller said, “Of course, the situation is not going to be easy with our coaches stuck in South Africa and unable to travel for the time being; but the players have adjusted to the virtual coaching programme well.

“We just started (training) since government loosened up on non-contact sports to go ahead and we will be practising in batches. We hope the World Cup will still go ahead despite the challenges with the on-going coronavirus.”

Muller said the players were glad to be back on the field of play after two months lockdown and having to find innovative ways to stay fit without playing cricket outdoors.

While virtual coaching may not be the best way to prepare for a maiden World Cup appearance, Muller believes a little action is better than no action.

Among the coaches taking Namibia through their training routines is bowling consultant Albe Morkel, who starred for South Africa’s Proteas in the 2000s.

 

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