Lack of depth hinders progress - ten Doeschate
Netherlands showed one of the beauties of Twenty20 cricket when the famously beat England, at Lord's, last year and want to ensure they have a chance of pulling off another upset at the next event in the Caribbean with success in this week's qualifying tournament. However, Netherlands' leading player knows they are still a long way from competing consistently with Test nations.
"It's exciting times. This qualification will be a massive boost for the popularity of the sport," Ryan ten Doeschate, the Essex allrounder, told Cricinfo. "The Irish model is the one to follow by getting more guys to play at a higher level, but to be perfectly honest I don't see it happening at the moment when I look at the quality of fringe players coming through.
"That isn't changing and that will be a big indication we are moving in the right direction when there is a competition for places. That needs to be addressed, but the tools to market the game are there and there is a chance to take the Dutch game forward."
When Stuart Broad hurled this throw past the stumps at Lord's ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli scampered the second run that set off wild scenes of celebration. Although Netherlands didn't progress in the tournament, following a heavy defeat against Pakistan, their performance showed the value of Twenty20 cricket to Associate nations. With passage to the next 50-over World Cup assured their attentions are now firmly fixed on another 20-over bash.
"I think the element that is most valuable is that it expands the brand and if you are looking to grow a game like cricket it's the best tool to use," ten Doeschate said. "It's exciting and people like to watch it so it must be used as a marketing tool for the sport and coupled with that there is the greater chance of teams creating an upset. It's short, explosive and the game can change quickly."
Schiferli, the Netherlands opening bowler, agreed with his team-mate that Twenty20 is the ideal vehicle for Associate nations and believes the team is capable of repeating days such as they experience at Lord's.
"That victory gave us a lot of confidence and was a very special day," he said. "We have a lot of young guys in the team and knowing we can pull off wins like that really helps them.
"Twenty20 gives Associate cricket the chance to show the world what we are made of. Playing 50-over matches it is harder for us to beat Full Member nations, but this is a good format for us to try and narrow the gap between us and the major teams."
As a county player ten Doeschate is Netherlands' key man with his ability to score rapid runs and take key wickets with his medium pace. But, with an eye on the future, he hopes that other players take their chance to shine in the qualifying tournament and will be quite happy to not to hog the limelight.
"At the moment I feel this won't be a tournament that is all about me," he said. "We have some new faces in the team and I've a feeling it is a time when we will see some different names shine. I'm pretty comfortable in my role and during the preparation it was nice to see other guys score runs and take wickets, so I'm not feeling much pressure about being a professional player."
Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo