Erasmus nominated for top award

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Erasmus nominated for top award
Erasmus nominated for top award

Africa-Press – Namibia. NAMIBIAN Eagles captain Gerhard Erasmus has been nominated as a finalist in ESPN Cricinfo’s 2021 Captain of the Year award.

Erasmus is one of five finalists for the award and the only captain from an Associate Member country, with the others all from leading cricketing nations. They are Aaron Finch of Australia, Babar Azam of Pakistan, Kane Williamson of New Zealand and Virat Kohli of India.

Under Erasmus’ leadership Namibia had an outstanding season, winning nine out of 14 international matches, while they also made a great impact at their debut T20 World Cup.

After losing their opening match against Sri Lanka, they won their next two matches against the Netherlands and Ireland to qualify for the Super Sixes stage, where they also beat Scotland. Their winning run came to an end as they lost their next matches against Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand and India, but by making the Super Sixes, they automatically qualified for the 2022 T20 World Cup which will be held in Australia in October.

Furthermore, Erasmus’ courage and sacrifice made a big impression, after he broke his finger in a warm-up match, but continued to play and made some outstanding contributions, including a top score of 53 not out against Ireland.

Erasmus yesterday said it was a great honour to have been nominated.

“It’s a great honour to be nominated for the captain of the year award and to be a finalist amongst captains from some of the great cricketing countries in the world. It’s a great honour and achievement in my career,” he said.

“In cricket, the captain’s role is quite important and a fine art compared to other sports, but at the same time I couldn’t have done it without my team mates, who helped us complete a very successful season,” he added.

“Cricket Namibia’s whole leadership group, from the board members, to the coaches and the captain, as well as the senior players in the squad, who are all great leaders, they all played a role in our success, and I’m just the lucky one that get’s to captain the side,” he said.

Although Erasmus’ chances of winning the award might be a bit remote, he said it was just an honour to be amongst the finalists.

“The panel that selected the finalists is from the ICC and Cricinfo, so it’s not something that the public can vote for, but it’s a great achievement just to be there,” he said.

“I think Australia’s captain Aaron Finch should be amongst the favourites after they won the T20 World Cup, while Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam had the best record of seven wins out of eight. Virat Kohli is India’s most successful captain and I think New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson will also be a strong contender – he was a bit like me, he had injured his elbow, but continued to play and lead his team at the T20 World Cup,” he said.

Regarding his own injury, Erasmus said it will still take a while to heal.

“My finger is ok, but it will take a while to heal. I had quite a big break and my finger was quite smashed, I had an operation, but it’s still quite stiff and not straight, so I think I’ll seek some more medical advice. But I will continue with my rehabilitation and I hope to be ready to play by March when we should be playing some international matches,” he said.

Erasmus, meanwhile, confirmed that he is one of five Namibian players who have been nominated by Cricket Namibia for this year’s India Premier League auction that take’s place on 12 and 13 February.

The other Namibian nominees are all-rounders David Wiese and JJ Smit, and pace bowlers Ruben Trumpelmann and Jan Frylinck.

They are part of a record 41 players from Associate Nations who have been registered for the auction, but Erasmus said their chances were slim.

“If I’m realistic, players from the Associate Nations don’t really have a good chance of making it, but we definitely have the ability to play at that level and you never know. If we get the opportunity, we must just grab it and put our names in the mix,” he said.

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