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Namibia had been playing cricket for years. They had dreamed and tried to qualify for an ICC tournament earlier as well. But on 22 October, when they made it into the Super 12s of the T20 World Cup 2021, spectators wondered whether it really was a team’s achievement or the miracle, rather magic, of David Wiese only?
What David Wiese has done for Namibia?
Namibia started their campaign with a 7 wickets defeat on October 18 against Sri Lanka. A day later, their fortunes changed when an in-form experience T20 superstar in David played a 66 run not-out inning off 40 balls to help his team chase Netherlands’ 165 runs total by the 19th over. He won the man of the match award as well.
In their third and last game of the group stage against Ire Land, Weise’s nation required a lot of luck as well as some display of magic from David Wiese in the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. After restricting Ireland to 125, Namibia got a 48 run stand on the second wicket after they had lost their opener on 25. When Wiese came in to bat in the 14th over. The run rate was 8-8.5 but two maximums on the consecutive deliveries to bury the chase. He never allowed the opposition to come back.
How did David Wiese join Namibia?
Wiese established himself as a regular player in the Titans franchise and made his debut for South Africa in 2013. These were the days when South Africa was looking for an allrounder who would replace Jacques Kallis after the former would retire from international cricket.
In 2014-15, Wiese remained a permanent member of the South African T20I squad and went on to play IPL as well in 2015 and 2016. He represented South Africa in the 2016 T20 World Cup as well but when he failed to cement his place in a competitive South Africa side, he joined a sudden outflow of South African players in county cricket.
From County Cricket to another T20 World Cup: How this happened?
At 31 in 2016-17, Wiese signed a three-year deal with Sussex. In 2018, he made headlines in the Championship with his 41 wickets, 500 plus runs, and a brilliant display of power-hitting at the late order. For the next couple of years, he went on to play in leagues like PSL, BPL, and CPL and helped his sides win close games through his power-hitting in the death overs.
His father was born in Namibia. So in 2021, David Wiese became eligible to represent the country due to ancestry. He made his debut for Namibia in the opening round of the T20 World Cup 2021. He went on to win two consecutive man-of-the-match awards in the 3 group stage games, helping his side qualify for the Super 12s of the tournament.
Namibia vs South Africa: Who decides better?
When South Africa announced their 15 member squad for this year’s T20 World Cup, their selection was criticized heavily as well as experts felt a lack of stars and attractive names in their line-up.
They had ignored players like Faf Du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Janeman Malan, Ab De Villiers, and Chris Morris. Earlier, players like Colin Ingram, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese, and many other good fast bowlers like Kyle Abbott had opted for County Cricket, leaving their national side.
South Africa lacks good finishers. Many elite players have retired. In such a scenario, South Africa should have gone for match-winners. They did not.
Their neighbors, Namibia had realized that they are a young side and the presence and inclusion of an experienced T20 superstar like Wiese can add a lot of value to their side as well as can share their experience with their youngsters.
These are two different approaches and both teams decide what they think would be better for them in the long term. But if we talk about the short-term goal, T20 World Cup 2021, Namibia has made an outstanding decision to include someone like Wiese. Many other teams like Pakistan and Australia also select their in-form senior players in the squad for ICC tournaments based on short-term goals to win and perform in the event.