July 9, 2010

ICC World Cricket League

WCL matches hit by bad timing

Cricinfo

From Arno Boerman, The Netherlands

Cricket hit the headlines in the Netherlands during the World Twenty20 last year, as there wasn't much else happening  © Associated Press
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Last week, the World Cricket League Division One started in the Netherlands. A week and twelve games later not many Dutchmen have noticed. No wonder really, with the national football team reaching the World Cup final in South Africa and the immensely popular Tour de France starting in Rotterdam.

If the Netherlands board (KNCB) and ICC want to broaden interest in cricket in the Netherlands, they will have to get the sport under the attention of the public. It is great that we got to host the WCL division I, but to get into the public's eye, you need media coverage. And cricket will not get any coverage in the Netherlands when there is World Cup football going on.

Last year, when Netherlands played the World Twenty20 and famously beat England in the opening game, cricket made the sports headlines. With not much else going on, cricket was an entertaining alternative and the surprise victory of 'our boys' sparked more interest than ever. The WCL is obviously not as sexy as beating England at the World Twenty20, but the latter would also not have gotten as much media coverage as it did had there been a World Cup football to compete with.

The point is, planning international matches for the 'lesser' countries should include making sure there are no major sport events at the same time. It will not always be possible to avoid an overlap, but surely more effort could be made? Was there no way the tournament could have started a week earlier? Cricket's governing bodies understand the role of the media perfectly, but seem to have missed the trick when planning these fixtures.

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Posted by Ali_India on (February 10, 2011, 21:30 GMT)

I would love to see new teams giving tough competition to today's top sides.....imagine teams like Netherlands ,Afghanistan, Ireland and Canada beating teams like Australia, India, SA, Pakistan.....

Cricket needs to grow.....i wonder how many more national sides will get Test status by the end of this century......

Posted by jerry ausan,suriname on (November 5, 2010, 3:51 GMT)

the netherlands can only benefit if it plays regular matches whether it wil be t20 or the odi.i suppose the dutch can benefit of both worlds,being to close to england and take a more active role in europa.

Posted by Simonp on (July 29, 2010, 0:47 GMT)

Test cricket depends on more than good players. Several of the better Dutch players are only available infrequently due to county or even Dutch club commitments. There also needs to be a fan base. Most NL internationals are played in front of empty grounds despite free admission, and by empty I mean spectators in single figures. Their most recent home match against a Test nation drew less than 1000 crowd. A few of the clubs do attract reasonable gatherings (a few hundred for a big game) but it is hard to suggest there is any public appetite for the game. It's a great shame, because there is some terrific talent there. Before test status can be considered the game has to be grown at ground level, and this may take a very long time.

Posted by Rahul on (July 16, 2010, 2:30 GMT)

Two sides that should be next in line for tests are ireland and netherlands. They are rich countries with some good players in their ranks now. They look like they can establish good cricket set-up. Besides their women teams already play tests.

Posted by Arno Boerman on (July 12, 2010, 13:03 GMT)

@Harvey; I agree you can't always put cricket on hold. When it is England, where cricket is a popular sport, there is no reason to.

But when awarding the Netherlands the right to host such an event, the ICC should have made more effort with their planning. The tournament has come and gone now without hardly anybody noticing and I really think that is a waste.

This could have been a real promotional event for cricket in the Netherlands with slighlty better timing.

Posted by Harvey on (July 11, 2010, 13:14 GMT)

A difficult one. You can't put cricket on hold completely just because it clashes with another major event. If it had been earlier it would have clashed with Wimbledon tennis. If later it would have clashed with major Test series, so existing cricket fans might have focused on those. Unfortunately the cricket season in Northern Europe is very short, and for competitions like this it makes sense to host them at the time of year when rain is least likely to play a disruptive role, which is what has been done. Had the Dutch team made an early exit from the World Cup, maybe the cricket would have got more publicity, but cricket in England for example - including international matches - continued throughout the World Cup, and there's no reason why the World Cricket League should be any different. I do understand your frustration though.

Posted by Rahul on (July 11, 2010, 5:39 GMT)

Beat this side: obanda(ken), porterfield(ire), cooper(net), kevin o'brien(ire), bagai(can), shahzad(wk)(afg), doeshate(net), odoyo(ken), botha(ire), viraya(ken), johnston(ire). Reserves: stirling(ire), majid haq(sco), umar bhatti(can).

Posted by Nilesh on (July 10, 2010, 16:39 GMT)

It is surprising cricket authorities plan such series when everybody is glued on fifa world cup. Either there are no strategists to broaden the game or the people in charge are totally ignorant of world affairs. It needs great thinking to generate interest in fringe nations.

Posted by henry from canada on (July 10, 2010, 8:37 GMT)

I totally agree,we need big vision when it comes to the second tier. Don't only pay attention to the test nations.

Posted by Imran on (July 9, 2010, 17:22 GMT)

Good article.The Planning by ICC is always worst.I think Netherlands should concentrate only on t20's.Leave beside ODI's.Thats the only way the game is going to be popular in netherlands.

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