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Last Updated:  Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 17:26 GMT

Kotze defends Namibian ambition
JB Burger
Namibia were powerless against Wasim and Akhtar
Namibia captain Deon Kotze defended his team's right to be at the World Cup after they suffered their second heavy loss of the tournament.

The Africans crumbled to 84 all out against Pakistan on Sunday, the fourth lowest score in World Cup history, just six days after conceding 340 runs against Zimbabwe, the fourth highest total ever recorded at the tournament.

Despite being hopelessly outclassed in a crushing 171-run defeat, Kotze said his team deserved the chance to compete on cricket's biggest stage.

"I don't think cricket can grow globally if it's kept to a select group of 10 or 11 or 12 teams," Kotze said.

"The only way the game will grow globally is if countries like Namibia, Netherlands, Canada and Kenya are allowed to play and are allowed to grow into the game.

Wasim had a record-breaking day in Kimberley

"Zimbabwe are a classic example. After playing Test cricket for years finally now they are very competitive at this level.

"I think it'll be the same with us but the only way the game will grow globally is if the smaller teams are allowed to participate and if anything I think we should be allowed to participate more regularly."

Namibia's bowlers performed well against Pakistan on Sunday, restricting the 1999 World Cup runners-up to 255 for nine, before their batsmen collapsed in spectacular fashion.

They lost five wickets in the first three overs and were in serious danger of recording the lowest ever total in World Cup history, Canada's 45 against England in 1979, when they slumped to 42 for nine.

But Bjorn Kotze (24 not out) and Rudi van Vuuren (14) doubled the score with a last-wicket stand of 42.

"I'm very proud of the way we bowled today, but we obviously didn't bat anywhere near well enough," the captain said.

"I wouldn't really say it dents our confidence, though. Once guys got in for a while they realised they could actually play it so if anything it gives us a bit of heart.

"I don't think it's the sort of thing that we would now sit back and say we can't compete at this level.

"All the guys will still back themselves and believe they can make a contribution."

Links to more Namibia stories


Australia deny defiant Pakistan
10 Feb 03 |  Team Pages
Pakistan lack self-belief
15 Feb 03 |  Pakistan

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