Global T20 Namibia series: teams, schedule, where to watch

Organised by Cricket Namibia, the tournament aims to be a preparatory ground for the Namibia national team, which will be featuring in the qualifying rounds of the T20 World Cup, to be played in Australia in October.

FILE PHOTO: Abhimanyu Easwaran will lead the squad released by the Cricket Association of Bengal.

FILE PHOTO: Abhimanyu Easwaran will lead the squad released by the Cricket Association of Bengal. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

Organised by Cricket Namibia, the tournament aims to be a preparatory ground for the Namibia national team, which will be featuring in the qualifying rounds of the T20 World Cup, to be played in Australia in October.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has announced a 16-member squad for the Global T20 Namibia - a four-team league to be played in Windhoek from September 1-9.

Organised by Cricket Namibia, the tournament aims to be a preparatory ground for the Namibia national team, which will be featuring in the qualifying rounds of the T20 World Cup, to be played in Australia in October.

Which are the teams?

The Namibia national team will be the only international side featuring in the tournament. As far as overseas participation is concerned, Cricket South Africa domestic franchise Momentum Multiply Titans and Cricket Association of Bengal have given their consent for the tournament so far, while Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars has agreed ‘in principle’. If things fall in place, the teams are expected to reach Namibia by the fourth week of August.

What is the objective?

The nine-day tournament will be a curtain raiser for the Namibian national team ahead of its CWC League 2 ODI Tri-series in Papua New Guinea in September. The team will travel to Australia in October for the T20 World Cup and the organisers feel that this four-team tournament will help the Namibian team get enough match practice and international exposure.

For the Bengal team, too, it will be a much-needed pre-season tour. India’s domestic cricket season is scheduled to begin on September 8 with the Duleep Trophy. So, for the Bengal players, it will be a perfect opportunity to play intense cricket before the season kicks off.

Is Bengal’s participation confirmed?

Officially, not yet. Even though the CAB has released the squad, with Abhimanyu Easwaran leading the team, the officials indicated that they would formally speak about the tournament after receiving a formal go-ahead from the BCCI.

“The protocol is to get an NOC from the BCCI before allowing a team to participate in a league in any other country. Therefore, we are in the process of applying for an NOC from the BCCI and we will formally speak about it only if we receive a go-ahead from the Board,” CAB president Avishek Dalmiya told  Sportstar.

The BCCI does not allow any of its teams or players to feature in overseas franchise T20 leagues. However, this being a league organised by an associate member nation and with no franchise or ownership involved, it would be interesting to see whether BCCI allows the Bengal team to play in the tournament.

In the past, the BCCI had rejected requests from individuals and teams to feature in overseas leagues. But with several Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises getting involved in foreign Twenty20 Leagues, the Board may allow a few players - not in the national reckoning - to participate in those leagues. However, no decision has been taken yet. 

Will it be televised?

As per informational available so far, the tournament is likely to be televised and live-streamed, with spectators also being allowed. The details are expected to be available by the first week of August. The organisers are yet to reveal a final schedule and the format of the tournament.

An India-Pakistan game in the offing?

If both CAB and Lahore Qalandars agree to feature in the tournament, then fans will get to see two teams from India and Pakistan locking horns in a league. In the 2014 Champions League T20, Lahore Lions, featuring Mohammad Hafeez and Umar Akmal, had played a game against Kolkata Knight Riders, led by Gautam Gambhir. The two teams haven’t played international bilateral series since 2012.

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