Gerhard Erasmus, the captain of Namibia, was left speechless after his team’s elimination from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Thursday.
Up until their last group encounter against the previously winless United Arab Emirates in Geelong, Australia, the south west Africans controlled their own fate. With a win, Namibia would have placed first on the log and advanced to the Super12 stages.
The UAE scored 148/3, and Erasmus’ team, despite their best efforts, came seven runs short of matching that total. As a result, the UAE team celebrated their first-ever victory in the T20 World Cup.
The Netherlands will now play the Proteas on Monday in Hobart after Sri Lanka, who lost to Namibia in their first match, and the Netherlands progressed to the second round.
“I find it difficult to express. Things’s difficult to kind of be trying to figure out with the previous two games where it went wrong, because I believe last year we were at the opposite end of this,” Erasmus remarked.
“However, I believe that overall, we just didn’t play well enough for the two victories. It’s certainly quite discouraging to have lost two games in a row; it’s difficult to comprehend.
“There was a shift in momentum after the first game after that high, which in a sense seems to have been inevitable, but I believe we attempted in both games to kind of do the rescue,” said the player.
David Wiese was at the center of the failed rescue operation. After the Namibians were reduced to 69/7 in the 13th over, the former Proteas all-rounder was determined to recreate the feat that had propelled them into the Super12 stage in the UAE the previous year.
Wiese batted 55 off of 36 balls to help Namibia catch up in the run chase. In the last over, his attempted fourth six was almost missed by being acrobatically caught on the edge of the boundary line.
The 37-year-old, who competes in all of the top franchise leagues across the globe, was devastated that he was unable to help his club advance once again.
It’s always nice to have that home base, and it’s always nice to have a team that you can resonate with, that is close to your heart, and a team that you know their heart is in the right place, Wiese said. “I think, you know, as a cricketer nowadays, there’s so many tournaments, and you hone your skills and play in all these different tournaments, but it’s always nice to have that home base,” he added.
“As a tournament player, it happens pretty often… Four weeks in, then out, and self-defense. You do well in that competition and get selected for the next one.
“Playing for your nation is a different matter. There is a difference between serving your nation and wanting to succeed for it. I feel such a strong connection to these guys because they work so hard and are such decent people. All you want is for them to be happy.
“I feel that is the key factor—I always hold the view that good things come to nice people. Additionally, they are a fantastic group of gentlemen that work hard. The fact that they wouldn’t get the chance to demonstrate their abilities in the next round, which is especially disheartening, is what I consider to be the most frustrating aspect.