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Nicolaas Scholtz

Namibian cricketer Nicolaas Scholtz during ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier: Final - Afghanistan v Namibia
Since making his debut for Namibia in 2003, Nicolaas Scholtz became an integral part of the national side over the next decade and a half. The leg spin all-rounder became a stalwart of the team with his reliability as a batsman in the middle order, including some great knocks, while he was a potent force as a leg spinner.

He scored more than 5 000 runs in all formats of the game to finish fifth on the all time Namibian list behind Craig Williams, Gerrie Snyman, Raymond van Schoor and Sarel Burger. In First Class matches he scored three centuries with a top score of 150 not out against North West, while in List A matches his highest score was 99 not out against Border. 

He remembers the latter match well, when he was facing on 98 not out, but only managed to get a single, leaving him stranded a run short of his century. Ï hit the ball to mid wicket but could only get a single, so unfortunately I missed out on a century, but I suppose 99 not out is better than 99 out," he said. As a bowler he took more than 100 wickets with a best performance of five wickets for 13 runs in a T20 international against Canada in Dubai.

Scholtz played more than 200 matches for Namibia in all formats of the game, while he also captained the national side in 2014 and 2015. He retired from international cricket in 2018, but continued to captain his club, Wanderers in the Namibian League. Scholtz stated about the highs and lows of his career.
Who was your sport hero as a child? 

Gary Kirsten. I really liked his approach to batting and his calmness at the crease. He is also a left-handed batsman like myself and I could take a lot from his batting and implement it on my batting technique. I really like him as a player on and off the field.

Who was the best player you ever played with? 

The best player I played with must be Gerrie Snyman - his all-round ability with bat and ball was simply remarkable and to play each situation accordingly is a true skill. He could bat anywhere in the line-up and would still be able to adapt his game, whether it was to consolidate or to be the finisher. Then to come out and bowl at a 140km/h (before his back injury) was really something to admire.
Who was the best player you played against?

There are quite a few I can think of, but the two players I can really point out are Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands and Eoin Morgan of Ireland, who later played for England. These two players have done a lot for Associate cricket and their records speak for themselves. 

Who was the best coach you played under?

The best coach I played under was Andy Waller. He just got the best out of everyone in the team. His knowledge and technicality was really good and he shared a lot with us to grow our game.

What was your most memorable match?

My most memorable match was against Kenya in the April 2013 when we beat them in the final of the Quadrangular series. We won the tournament off the last ball of the match and I was at the crease with Sarel Burger who won it for us.

What was the highlight of your career?

It was definitely making my debut for the national team in 2003, and then later when I was named to captain the national team. Other highlights include scoring my first century for Namibia and all the small victories and battles we won as a team where everything just clicked throughout the whole match.

And the lowlight of your career?

One of the lowlights in my career was that we came so close on numerous occasions at World Cup qualifying tournaments, but just could not get over that final hurdle. That is something that really stays with you, because we were so close.

Name your best Namibian squad: JP Kotze, Danie Keulder, Morne Karg, Craig Williams, Gavin Murgatroyd, Gerrie Snyman, Raymond van Schoor (wicket keeper), Louis Burger, Kola Burger, Bernard Scholtz and Louis Klazinga. Twelfth man: Deon Kotze.
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