Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus expressed concern about the cold weather in Australia on Saturday but insisted the African nation could set the Twenty20 World Cup on fire by upsetting Sri Lanka in the tournament’s opener. Temperatures in Geelong, where Sunday’s global show begins, will oscillate around 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) and fall as low as 4 p.m. That’s nimble for a Namibian side more used to mild weather at home at this time of year, and Erasmus admitted it was a shock to the system.
“It’s a lot colder than we thought but we have to deal with it,” he said in Melbourne.
“Of course it was difficult most days, but it’s the same for everyone. There is nothing you can do about it, you just have to do what you can.”
Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka said his team also struggled.
“We’re trying to acclimate, it’s very different from the weather in Sri Lanka,” he said.
“Much cooler than expected. We’re getting used to it and hopefully it won’t hurt us when we’re in the field.”
Namibia caused an upset at last year’s World Cup by reaching the Super 12 stage in their tournament debut.
They also met Sri Lanka first in 2021, crashing by seven wickets before beating the Netherlands and Ireland to qualify for the first round.
Erasmus said they were in a better position to beat the Sri Lankans this time.
“We know that all games are going to be tough, but we have a little more peace and we know what to expect. We know what’s at stake and for us it feels good,” he said.
“Sri Lanka are a good team. They just won the Asian Cup and play very good cricket, so it will be difficult to open the World Cup against someone like that.
“We know they will come with a big fight and a tough approach but we are ready for it. We have trained a lot in the last 12 months and developed a lot.
“Hopefully our preparations have brought us to a point where we are competitive and can beat them tomorrow.”
It’s a tall order for a confident Sri Lanka, fresh from being crowned Asian champions, who must beat heavyweights India and Pakistan en route to the title.
Shanaka said he was confident they would get through the prelims.
Should they win their round one group, they will be matched in the Super 12 with Australia, Afghanistan, England and New Zealand.
“I don’t think there is an easier group at the World Cup,” said Shanaka.
“The advantage we have … is that our bowling is pretty strong. So if we can get the runs against each opponent on the board, we can control them. But we don’t take any side lightly.”
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