Dubai, Nov 7 (IANS) Namibia head coach Pierre de Bruyn has described his team’s journey in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as an ’emotional roller coaster’. He added that the team came into the tournament with expectations and exceeded all of them. Namibia, in their first appearance in the Men’s T20 World Cup, shocked Ireland in their last Round 1 match to progress to Super 12. They went on to record their first Super 12 win against Scotland. The side will look to sign off on a high against India in an inconsequential Group 2 match in Dubai on Monday.
“If I can summarise it very quickly, it’s been an amazing journey. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for all of us. We came here with the expectations, but I think we exceeded that. And with that, the pressure mounted, and these players have really announced themselves. The Super 12 for us, honestly, it’s been an amazing experience. It’s never nice to lose. We don’t take the field knowing that we are going to be blown over by another team,” said de Bruyn while replying to a question from IANS in the pre-match press conference on Sunday.
He went on to say that Namibia’s stunning run in the tournament has become a global cricketing tale, which has also led to them sealing an automatic spot for the next year’s event in Australia. “The story was a cricket Namibia story for our country. But it’s become a global story where we have inspired not just our kids back home and young children, but I think globally we’ve really won a lot of hearts. And it’s just congratulations to this team. We really want to compete, and I think we’ve done ourselves proud the way we’ve conducted ourselves on the field. Starting with that first win against Scotland and then Afghanistan and then, I think, the match, our best match was definitely against Pakistan.”
The 44-year-old insisted that his team held its own ground despite facing some of the biggest sides in the world. “It was facing the best in the world at times can be overwhelming. And it’s all about staying composed. And this team, especially with the ball, has shown that they are willing to wrestle. They are willing to hold on and compete like we have in the last game against New Zealand, 94 for 4 after 16 overs. So the learnings for us is something that we are just going to treasure that. We’re going to hold on very hard to that because those lessons, good or bad, they are not only going to make you a better team they’re going to make you a better player. And I’m very excited to revisit all those lessons when we depart.”
Asked about his team’s plans against the Indian batters, de Bruyn emphasised on executing the plans to perfection if his bowlers have to avoid being punished by a star-studded batting line-up. “We’ve analysed the Indian team. As players, you always look to plan ahead of a game like that or any game. We know up front with the bat the way they play. If you’re not going to execute your plans and with that execute your skills, then they will punish you. That’s a guarantee.”
“We want to finish this campaign on a high. You know, it’s been 45 days in this bubble. There are no excuses. Tomorrow’s platform for any player, any player to face the best in the world, is a platform where you should treasure that moment. You should be up for it. There’s no doubt that this team is going to be up for it. I think it’s just important for us to play good, competitive cricket.”
De Bruyn signed off by saying that not going down without a fight has been a big thing for his team. “We’ve played 40 over cricket in this group. We’ve not been blown away by any team in 10 or 12 overs or anything like that. We’ve been willing to stretch the game and just to give ourselves a good chance against this type of opposition. Tomorrow’s just the classic game, where you go in and you need to own your own. You need to take brutal accountability for what you’re going to bring for the team tomorrow. It’s the last little push. I say that because it’s been a long tour and it’s been an emotional roller coaster to say the least.”