Netherlands have a distinct advantage of being near England due to which some of its main players can participate in the first class structure in the UK. Not only that, but there are many of those who feature in the club cricket and second grade cricket in the UK and that helps the side immensely. They first played in a World Cup in 1996, and since then, have grown into a side to watch out for amongst the Associate nations. They are also a part of folklore as they were one of the five nations to jointly host a cricket World Cup – the only time this has happened – in 1999. Netherlands also plays in the one-day domestic competition in England and that allows all its national players a chance to display their wares.
Netherlands also had a bye to the top 12 in the qualification stage and were to play Canada, Kenya, Scotland, Afghanistan, Namibia and UAE in the qualifiers. They won all but one of their games – losing to UAE – and that meant that they had qualified for the Super Eight stage. They had a woeful start to the Super Eights as they lost two of their three opening games before recovering well to end with four wins and at the fourth spot. That clinched them the World Cup berth.
Netherlands rely on their medium pace bowlers to get them the early wickets and while it is a strategy that may not work in the sub-continent, it would be interesting to see how the side adjusts to the pitches.
The lack of experience in playing in the sub-continent will make it difficult for the Dutch side.
Netherlands is in the tougher of the two groups with both Bangladesh and Ireland being difficult countries to beat. However, if they do manage to put it across one of the two nations, it would have been a job well-done.
The pitch conditions, the weather, the personnel and the opposition all lead one to believe that it is difficult to see the Dutch side win any games in this tournament.
Netherlands had first played in a World Cup in 1996 when they went down to all the teams in the tournament including the UAE. They failed to qualify for the 1999 World Cup before making it through to the 2003 tournament. In 2003, they recorded their first World Cup win over the lowly and the first-timers Namibia but revelled in their performance against India when they restricted the opposition to only 204. However, their biggest scalp has come in the T20 World Cup in 2009 when they beat England in the opening game of the tournament.
Peter Borren should continue to lead the side.
Ryan ten Doeschate’s all-round skills will make him the player to watch out. Earlier he had won the ICC award for the best Associates’ player and will probably be the one who could end up getting an IPL contract.