Cricketers from Pakistan and India may lock horns in Namibia this September. Official NOC is still awaited from BCCI, but the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has released the names of selected players in the 16-member squad for the Global T20 Namibia tournament, which is said to be paving a preparatory ground for the Namibian players in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifying rounds. The T20 WC is scheduled to be held in Australia from October 16 to November 13, 2022.
The four-team Global T20 Namibia will be a nine-day tournament and is to be played in the Namibian capital Windhoek from September 1 to 9. The teams are the Namibia national team and three domestic franchises including Momentum Multiply Titans of Cricket South Africa, Lahore Qalanders of Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Bengal of CAB.
In the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup the Namibia national team finished 5th in the Group 2 games after qualifying for the Super 12s. This season, the team is grouped with NAE, Netherlands and Sri Lanka in Round 1.
The last time domestic teams of arch-rivals India and Pakistan played in the 2014 Champions League T20. The fight was between Lahore Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). However, domestic teams from the two countries played tournaments on a regular basis between 2006 and 2008. The winning teams of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and Ranji Trophy faced each other in the four-day First-class Nissar Trophy cricket competition. The competition was scrapped thereafter.
According to CAB joint secretary Debabrata Das, the Global T20 Namibia broadcasters invited the team to play in the tournament and a fresh team will be sent to pave the path of building a new squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, a domestic T20 tournament for men in India.
Das added several young players are performing outstandingly in local cricket in the state and this is the reason the board is looking ahead to sending the youths to the Namibia series to understand how the boys may tackle the tournament.
Bengal Squad Full List for Global T20 Namibia Series
Abhimanyu Easwaran (c), Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, Abhishek Das, Shreyansh Ghosh, Ranjot Singh Khaira, Writtick Chatterjee, Karan Lal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shreyan Chakraborty, Abhishek Porel (wk), Suprodip Debnath (wk), Mukesh Kumar, Soumyyadip Mondal Ishan Porel, Akash Deep and Ravi Kumar. The four standby players include Siddharth Singh, Debopratim Haldar, Pradipta Parmanik and Ankur Paul.
Namibia Men’s National Cricket Team
Nicknamed as Eagles, the Namibia national cricket team is operated by Cricket Namibia (CN), which is an ICC associate member since 1992. Its ODI debut was in 2004 and was the third-most successful team in the 2012 ICC World T20 Qualifier. It was granted full T20I status in 2018 and since then has been playing T20 matches with other ICC members. Its T20I debut was against Ghana in 2019.
Some of the best performing players of the team are Gerhard Erasmus, JJ Smit, Craig Williams, Jan Frylinck, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Bernard Scholtz, Ruben Trmpelmann and Zhivago Groenewald.
Namibia Women’s National Cricket Team
The women segment is nicknamed Capricorn Eagles and is organized by the Namibia Cricket Board. The team debuted in the 2004 Africa Women's Cricket Tournament held in Tanzania. ICC granted it the status of full WT20I abreast of granting the same to all its members. The performing players since then include Adri van der Merwe, Yasmeen Khan, Sune Sune Wittmann, Kayleen Green, Jurriene Diergaardt, Sylvia Shihepo, and Wilka Mwatile and Victoria Hamunyela.
Cricket Association of Bengal
The Cricket Association of Bengal governs cricket in the West Bengal state of India and is headquartered in Kolkata. It organizes various cricket tournaments in Bengal. It was founded in 1928.
Avishek Dalmiya is serving as the president while former Team India captain Sourav Ganguly was president of the board from 2015 to 2019 before becoming the president of BCCI.