|Drummo and team Africa bound|
This is the first in a series of matches over the next 2 weeks between Namibia in Scotland. The match that gets under way today is the most important being a 4 day ICC Intercontinental Cup fixture. Scotland were runners up in the last running of this competition and were first winners of the competition in 2004. Namibia were runners up to Ireland in 2007-08. Ireland have won it 3 times so Scotland have some catching up to do.
The ICC Cup is a long haul tournament in all senses of the word. It started in June this year and will not finish until the end of 2013. Scotland have played one game so far, a rain interrupted draw against the Netherlands in June. Ireland have played 2 winning both and so sit on top of the table.
The Scots last crossed 4 day swords with the Namibians in April 2008 when they went down narrowly by one wicket in Windhoek. However Namibia qualify for the tournament by virtue of being in the top 2 of Division 2 of the world league which should suggest that Scotland are that bit stronger. But they are a long way from home and the desert landscape of most of Namibia and the heat will come as a shock after the sodden summer that they have enjoyed in Scotland.
After the 4 day match there are two 50 over games as part of the ICC One-Day League and 5 T20s as preparation for next year’s World T20 qualifying event in Dubai. So all formats are well and truly catered for. The intensity of the schedule would have players of the Test playing nations moaning and questioning the sanity of the administrators, as well as nurturing all manner of injuries. But amateur players are made of sterner stuff.
Namibia is the second most sparsely populated country in the world (and before you dive for the reference books, Mongolia is number one) so there should be lots of space in the outfield. Outside agriculture its main economic activitis include diamond mining so the Scottish party's loved ones at home are hoping for sparkling presents to match the sparkling performances on the field
So good luck Drummo and the boys - it's time to sparkle.