Erasmus eyes more glory with Eagles

By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA’S senior cricket team captain Merwe Erasmus has not only set his eyes on personal glory but also to help Namibia achieve greater heights in the sport.

The batsman believes his work as a captain is also to leave behind a team which could become a formidable side after helping the country qualify to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup.

The T20 World Cup will take place between October and November 2021 in India.

Namibia’s men senior team, the Eagles will be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best cricket playing nations such as Australia, India, West Indies, Bangladesh and South Africa.

Erasmus was made captain of the Eagles by coach Pierre de Bruyn in 2018.

At 25, Erasmus is playing the best cricket of his life and has been instrumental in Namibia’s recent good showing at international events such as winning the 2019 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in April, which secured them a one-day international status for the first time since 2003.

The 2019 ICC Men›s T20 World Cup Qualifier was Erasmus’ greatest moment in his career as he was awarded with the Player of the Tournament award after helping Namibia reach the World Cup.           

Under Erasmus captaincy, the team lifted the ICC World Twenty20 Africa Region Qualifier Final trophy in May 2019.

“We have certainly climbed the ladder and we compete on an international level now with the best in the world. There is no reason we can’t take it one step further and start beating the top 12 nations more regularly now. So we are very excited to show the world that. I would like to lead Namibia to even higher ground, be it qualifying for more international tournaments, or inspiring more kids to play. Personally I aim to play professional cricket for a while, so hopefully more good performances can lead to more cricket for me around the world.”

Erasmus said he was enjoying his stint as captain and it was all down to the good development and professionalism at Cricket Namibia.

“The opportunities of the future keep us motivated. Cricket Namibia has an abundance of opportunity to develop our skills, meet people and see the world. Our fitness trainer keeps us on a tight schedule, and at home I supplement his schedule with some personal work and a healthy lifestyle.

“De Bruyn has instated me as captain from the start of his tenure, which happened to coincide with my return from SA where I studied until 2019. I’ve always enjoyed the leadership tag, but all members of our team are leaders and play a part in their personal way,” he said.

Erasmus plays local cricket at WHS Old Boys Cricket Club who are the current holders of the Namibia Cricket Premier League. Retired South African former captain Abraham Benjamin (AB) de Villiers is his role model.

In 2011 Erasmus became the youngest player to represent Namibia at the age of 16 against Ireland, and since then he has gone on to play more than 100 matches for Namibia in the various formats of the game, scoring more than 4 000 runs, with a highest score of 192 against Kwazulu-Natal Inland.