Namibia head coach Pierre De Bruyn was “ecstatic” for his players after they secured a place in the main draw of the Twenty20 World Cup, hailing it as a “dream come true”.
The African nation of just two and a half million people reached the Super 12 stage with an eight-wicket victory over Ireland, who crashed out of the tournament as a result.
Captain Gerhard Erasmus struck an unbeaten half-century in an historic moment for his side, who only recorded their first-ever World Cup victory earlier at the tournament against Netherlands.
Namibia make T20 history after knocking out Ireland
“Looking forward to this next stage, it’s ultimately a dream that’s come true for these players,” said De Bruyn, whose side can now look forward to matches against India, Pakistan and New Zealand as well as Afghanistan and Scotland in the Super 12.
“They were seven or six-year-old boys dreaming of playing against India or Pakistan in a World Cup and it’s happened. For me, that dream has come true for these players.
“All they had the last few years until now was to watch these guys on TV and dream about it and they’re going to wake up in the morning thinking it’s real and I’m just so pleased for them.”
Namibia had just three full-time contracted players when they were awarded ICC status in 2019 and were able to hand out 16 professional deals.
“I mean we’re ecstatic, I’ve got to remind myself what just happened out there but it happened to a really good group of people,” the head coach said.
“We’re not an organisation with the luxury of a lot of resources around us. I’ve got 18 players to pick from in my national squad and I know what they’ve put in the last three years.
“I suppose it sounds like a cliche saying the hard work has paid off but it really did and I’m ecstatic for the boys.”
Namibia begin their Super 12 campaign against Scotland next Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.30pm.
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