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ICC T20 World Cup 2022: Aakash Chopra Discusses Namibia’s “Greatest Hurdle” Following A Decisive T20 World Cup Opening Victory

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Namibia defeated Sri Lanka by 55 runs in the opening match of the T20 World Cup 2022 at GMHBA Stadium in South Geelong on Sunday. The buzzing victory of an underdog team against the 2014 World Cup champions is being appreciated among cricket analysts. However, some of them claimed that because associate members of ICC don’t receive enough attention, their achievement may be meaningless.

In the order, former India cricketer Akash Chopra discussed Namibia’s “Greatest Hurdle”. He said that Namibia needs more international games against major test nations.

Taking to Twitter, Chopra wrote, “While appreciating and applauding Namibian victory, please make a ‘note to self’ that you will champion the cause of associate nations once the World Cup gets over too. The biggest hurdle in their growth is the lack of exposure… which can’t happen till they get to play more.”

“They’ll get to play against major Test teams if only the BIG teams become inclusive. It’s alright fans etc. Celebrating their victories (upsets have their own sense of romanticism) but the onus of their growth isn’t in their own hands. Namibia impressed in the last T20 WC too,” Chopra continued.

The 45-year-old commentator and former right-handed batter said that the smaller nations need more involvement for the game to grow.

Chopra added that the World Cup is when Afghanistan usually grabs everyone’s attention, but they seldom ever play against top teams after or before those competitions.

He explained, “So does Afghanistan every time they play. But do you ask how many T20I they played against the top-level teams since the last World Cup?

Leave aside Associate Nations [ICC’s associate member countries] for a bit… even Test teams like AFG and Bangladesh have never played a T20I in. And they’re here to compete.”

 “Give them more games. Play more tri-series. Involve them. If you really want the game to grow,” He concluded.

Coming to the match, Namibia stunned Sri Lanka in the opening match with a 55-run buzzing win. Chasing 164 for a win, Dashun Shanaka led Sri Lanka rolled out at only 108 in 19 overs. Jan Frylink starred in the match as he scored the most 44 off 28 balls, and took two wickets for 26 in 4 overs from Namibia Side. David Wiese, Bernard Scholtz, and Ben Shikongo each got picked two wickets to roll out Sri Lanka.

Earlier, invited to bat, Namibia lost their 4 wickets within at 35 scores, but Jan Frylink handled their inning and scored 70-run as a partnership with JJ Smit (31* off 16 balls) for the seventh wicket, and lifted Namibia 163/7 in 20 overs. For Sri Lanka, Pramod Madushan took two wickets.

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