World Cup Qualifiers 2009 March 26, 2009

Klokker keeps his hopes up for WCQs

Cricinfo staff

Denmark captain Freddie Klokker is determined his team will work hard and focus intently on the World Cup Qualifiers (WCQs) which gets underway in South Africa from April 1. "We have obviously got to be realistic and will take one game at a time but we are going to South Africa with high hopes," Klokker said.

Placed in Group B alongside Kenya, the Netherlands, Bermuda, the UAE and Afghanistan, Klokker was quietly confident about Denmark's chances of making it to the 2011 World Cup. "We have Afghanistan in our first game and if we can get a victory there and if we get another one in the second, we are looking to be in the Super Eight, and we will take it from there," he said.

Klokker, 26, who has experience in county cricket while playing for Derbyshire, said he was "very excited" as the event was the biggest tournament that Denmark have played since four years ago.

At the previous tournament, held in Ireland in 2005 (it was known as the ICC Trophy then), Denmark were handed a 103-run defeat by Namibia and finished eighth among the 12 teams, but Klokker is hopeful of a better showing this time and believes that World Cup qualification would have a positive effect on the sport back in Denmark.

"It will be massive as it will be the biggest achievement the country has ever done and it will be amazing," Klokker said. "For us to do that it would boost the game, it would become popular, it would be coming in the news, and hopefully more and more young kids will start playing it."

A third-place finish at the European Championships in 2008, ahead of The Netherlands, showed the potential of the Danish side. They also recorded a 21-run win over Uganda during the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament in Namibia.

Klokker, who carried his bat during an unbeaten 99 not out against the UAE during the event, believed that, since few expect Denmark to be a main contender at the tournament, it could work in their favour.

"When there is no expectation, you can play with a mentality that you have nothing to lose and can play a lot more freely," he said. "If we win the first two or three games in the competition, other teams will start taking notice and that will be a big boost for us."

Squad: Frederik Klokker (capt), Mickey Lund, Carsten Pedersen, Michael Pedersen, Morten Hedegaard Andersen, Thomas Hansen, David Borchersen, Henrik Hansen, Bobby Chawla, Max Overgaard, Rohit Kanaiya, Soren Vestergaard, Rizwan Mahmood, Basir Shah, Lars Hedegaard Andersen.