Namibia clinch Africa Qualifier to seal spot at U19 Men’s World Cup in Sri Lanka

Namibia now join Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe as the confirmed teams in Sri Lanka.

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Africa Qualifier
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Africa Qualifier. (Photo Source: ICC)

After registering another impressive victory over Nigeria on July 30, Namibia triumphed in the ICC U19 Men’s World Cup Africa Qualifier to seal a spot at next year’s main event in Sri Lanka.

Following eight days of high-quality competition in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, the Walvis Bay Salt Eagles produced another dominant display to complete their unbeaten run through the event, and become the 14th team to secure qualification to the U19 Men’s World Cup 2024.

Namibia now join Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe as the confirmed teams in Sri Lanka.

Heading into Sunday’s final match at the top of the table with victories in each of their three completed matches, Namibia needed only to avoid a heavy defeat to secure their first appearance at the U19 Men’s World Cup since 2016.

Posting 148 for nine from their 50 overs, which included valuable runs from opener Gerhard Johannes Janse Van Rensburg (25) and a spirited middle-order contribution from skipper Alexander Büsing-Volschenk (34 not out), Namibia’s fierce bowling attack once again stole the headlines, reducing the opposition to 95 all out in response, to seal a 53-run victory amid jubilant scenes.

With wickets falling regularly as Nigeria attempted to chase down the total, Peter-Daniel Blignaut was the star performer for Namibia, his five wickets for 23 runs tearing through the Nigerian batting lineup.

Sunday’s victory characterised the success Namibia’s bowlers enjoyed throughout the competition, as they restricted the opposition to under 100 runs in every fixture.

Speaking on the triumph, Namibia captain Alexander Büsing-Volschenk said, “I am really happy. It actually means more than the world for a young guy like me in Namibia to have a chance to go to the World Cup in Sri Lanka.

“For me, it means that the time, hard work and the hard yards that we have put in have been rewarded. We want to show them that we are competitive and that we can give anyone a run for their money. I think the guys will work hard on that in the next six months to come.”

With just two spots remaining through the qualification pathway, attention now turns to the Netherlands, where the next regional decider takes place - the ICC U19 Men’s World Cup Europe Qualifier between 6 and 12 August. The teams aiming to join Namibia at next year’s event will be Guernsey, Italy, Jersey, hosts Netherlands, Norway and Scotland.

The ICC U19 Men’s World Cup 2024 will see the world’s most exciting young talent go head-to-head, continuing the event’s rich legacy of forging the future stars of the men’s game. The fifteenth edition of the tournament sees it return to Sri Lanka for the first time since 2006.

Remaining Qualifying Events for the ICC U19 Men’s World Cup 2024

Europe Regional Qualifier, 6-12 August, Netherlands

Competing Teams: Guernsey, Italy, Jersey, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland

Americas Regional Qualifier, 11-17 August, Canada

Competing Teams: Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Suriname, USA

ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 Qualification Structure

16 teams will be competing at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Sri Lanka 2024 over 41 matches. 11 teams have automatically qualified for the event as the best-placed Full Member nations from the previous event in 2022. These are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The remaining five spots are determined through regional qualification pathways, with one team from each region securing a place at the event.

Americas and EAP each host one qualifying event in 2023, with the winner of each event sealing a spot at the U19 Men’s World Cup Sri Lanka 2024.

The Africa, Asia and Europe regions each have a two-step qualification structure. These regions hosted Division 2 Qualifiers in 2022 to determine the teams that will compete in the second and final qualifying event, the Regional Qualifier, with events taking place in 2023.

Only the winning teams from the Regional Qualifiers will qualify to compete at the U19 Men’s World Cup Sri Lanka 2024.

The Asia and EAP qualification pathways concluded with Nepal and New Zealand advancing from their respective regions. Namibia’s qualification sees them advance as the 14th confirmed nation.

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