Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus expressed concern Saturday about the cold weather in Australia, but insisted the African nation could set the Twenty20 World Cup on fire by upsetting Sri Lanka in the tournament opener. Temperatures at Geelong, where the global showpiece starts on Sunday, have been hovering around 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) and plunging to as low as four in the evening. That is nippy for a Namibian side more used to balmy weather at home this time of year, and Erasmus admitted it was a shock to the system.
“It’s a lot more chilly than we thought, but we have to embrace it,” he said in Melbourne.
“It’s been difficult most days, obviously, but it is the same for everybody. There’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to do what you can.”
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said his team had also struggled.
“We are trying to acclimatise, it’s quite different to Sri Lanka weather,” he said.
“Much chillier than we expected. We are getting used to it and hopefully it won’t harm us when we are in the field.”
Namibia sprung a surprise at last year’s World Cup by making the Super 12 stage on their tournament debut.
They also met Sri Lanka first up in 2021, crashing by seven wickets, before beating the Netherlands and Ireland to qualify from the first round.
Erasmus said they were better placed to beat the Sri Lankans this time around.
“We know all the games are going to be tough, but there’s a little more of a sense of calmness, of knowing what to expect. We know what’s on the line and for us that’s a good feeling to have,” he said.
“Sri Lanka are a good team. They just came off an Asia Cup win and are playing very good cricket so opening the World Cup against someone like that is going to be hard.
“We know they going to come with a big fight, a hard approach, but we’re up for it. We’ve done a lot of training and a lot of growing the last 12 months.
“Hopefully our preparations have taken us to a point where we can compete and we can beat them tomorrow.”
It’s a big task with a confident Sri Lanka fresh from being crowned Asian champions, beating heavyweights India and Pakistan en route to the title.
Shanaka said he was confident they would progress through the preliminary round.
Should they win their round one group, they will be pitted in the Super 12 with Australia, Afghanistan, England, and New Zealand.
“I don’t think there’s an easier group in the World Cup,” Shanaka said.
“The advantage we have … is our bowling is quite strong so if we can get the runs on the board against any opposition we can control them. But we are not taking any side lightly.”
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