ICC World Cricket League July 9, 2010

WCL matches hit by bad timing

From Arno Boerman, The Netherlands

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

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.