Netherlands v England, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 31, 2014

Dutch delight cannot mask uncertain future

Netherlands' defeat of England was the culmination of an extraordinary tournament for the Dutch who must now return home not knowing when their next fixture will be
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Lord's 2009 was close. Chittagong in 2014 was a thrashing. For the second time in T20, Netherlands humbled England and this time there was daylight between the teams as they finished an embarrassing 45 runs short after a hapless chase.

It was nothing less than Netherland deserved. Bowled out for 39 three matches ago by Sri Lanka - which promoted the unsurprising response from some quarters questioning their presence in the tournament - they showed immense character and fortitude. They should have beaten South Africa, made New Zealand work hard for victory and have now humbled England.

It has, in many ways, been an extraordinary tournament for the Dutch: starting with the controversy of Tom Cooper's call-up to replace the injured Tim Gruijters to its joyous conclusion when James Tredwell and Stephen Parry were left stranded mid-pitch.

"When you win by 45 runs in a T20, it wasn't really close was it?" Peter Borren said, and that should not be taken as arrogance or disrespect: just fact. From the midway point of the match it was not close. England flayed like a village side who had struggled to rustle up XI players for a Sunday-morning match.

Asked to compare this victory to the one at Lord's in 2009, Borren's response was an indication of the belief the side has built up. "This one in a way is more satisfying because it's more of a build-up. We sort of went under the radar in 2009; they didn't know anything about us. This is more of a long-term thing. We just ambushed them in 2009; we won off the last ball. Tonight we won by 45 runs. The last one was just excitement, this one our guys really deserved it."

"In 2009 it was a big shock but if you look at all our cricket we played here I don't feel tonight feels like an upset. It was of course, but if you watched all our cricket then you would have thought we'd beat someone so it's not a big surprise."

One of the ongoing themes of this tournament - due to its structure and due to the recent changes at ICC - has been the place of Associates in world cricket. As Borren has said in victory and defeat, they have been here representing their brethren in the second phase following their stunning chase against Ireland.

They could not have done much more to make those who matter sit up and take notice. Whether they will remains another question, but it would be a foolish, one-eyed administrator who does not acknowledge the vast part Associates can play.

However, Borren knows, for all the joy of tonight, Netherlands cricket is entering a sobering period. They are unsure when their next major fixture will be having lost ODI status.

He called their absence from the English domestic scene - where they played in the 40-over tournament for four years before being ditched as part of a restructuring - as "super bad for us" and said it had played a huge part in developing Dutch cricket but was quick to acknowledge the role of the ECB. "We can't slate them because they've given us four years of fantastic competition," he said.

"We might not have much cricket on the radar and all have to go and find a job," he added. "We've got nothing this summer, not one fixture, so this will be a nice one to finish on for a while. Hopefully is sorted out because we're very proud of our effort here."

Mudassar Bukhari, who earned the Man-of-the-Match award for his 3 for 12, worked in Burger King at Amsterdam airport before becoming a full-time cricketer. "This is my full-time job now, I don't know how long for with what's going on but hopefully we can get some fixtures to play because this sure beats flipping burgers. It's much better than that, I tell you that."

Of course, if they had been good enough to qualify for the 50-over World Cup these concerns would not be so stark. Their performances in Bangladesh will only go to add to the frustration over the missed chance in New Zealand, but after one of their greatest days on a cricket field, it felt harsh on the Dutch to have to contemplate the idea that they may never have it so good again.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • PierreCheuk on April 1, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    Netherlands were not sufficiently competitive during the 2015 WC Qualifier in NZ in January. 10 Countries took part and Netherlands failed to make the Super Six phase , let alone vie for a Top Four finish which guaranteed the countries who did ODI status for the next 3-4 years.

    ICC does support Associate cricket but the question remains - can ICC grow the game beyond its small band of Full Members ? Countries like PNG ( now with ODI status) and Nepal suggest it can. The magical HK Rugby Sevens tournament over the past 25 years led to an IRB World Sevens circuit which was so successful, that momentum has taken Rugby Sevens into the Olympic Games.Core Sevens teams now include Japan and Spain.

    ICC can choose to propel T20 forward. Shorter tournaments, fewer rest days and multiple global venues with a range of countries participating. It simply takes political will. There is always a way. The Asian Games now includes cricket. Cricket at the Olympics? Now there is a thought !

  • CricketFanOfNepal on April 1, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    Well written article. Dutch out played England, Dutch out played South Africa barring Tahir dream run, which are not only the victory of Dutch but also Associate Cricketing nations. The Associate team achieved much more than test playing nations such as Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and England. The overall performance of Dutch, an Associate Cricketing nation, with limited exposure is the reflection of the very thin gap between test playing nation and associates at least in T20 format. Most of the associate nations should be given adequate opportunities, funding, and exposure if ICC wants to spread the cricket beyond 10 test playing nations. If these nations get many more exposures, this type of result will not be a surprise. Well done Netherlands, you have given good reason for associate teams to acclaim their performance at highest level.

  • on April 2, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    maybe the Dutch team should play in the South African domestic competition given how many South African born players they have?

  • brusselslion on April 1, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    Of course, it's ridiculous that the Dutch do not have a fixture list for this coming season. Also the ECB should be ashamed of itself for not being able to find a place for them in the domestic English structure. However, if the ICC is serious about developing cricket in places like the Netherlands, then it needs to do some real work at improving facilities at the ground level and, perhaps more importantly, getting the local media to take an interest in promoting the sport. Yesterday's victory does not even make the headlines of the sports pages on the NOS (Dutch national broadcaster's site) which says it all about the current enthusiam for cricket amongst the majority of the Dutch population.

  • on April 1, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    ICC can extend the teams getting ODI status from 6 to 10 or even 12 (all the team that played in the world cup qualifier) and also should ask the boards of the full members to help the associates out, maybe include national team in their domestic format then the game will be truly global and also competitive. More the competitive teams, more the revenue ICC gets.....

  • farial_87 on April 1, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    ICC should review their decision of cancelling ODI status of Netherlands and give them chances to improve their cricket. They should keep in mind the newly ODI status countries will also need time to develop their game. Ireland can come up and help the Dutch cricket team at this moment. They can invite a dutch club to participate in their newly formed domestic league. The dutch Cricket board can really concentrate in T20s at this moment. They should renovate their structure and present a fresh proposal for funding and reestablishment in the ODIs.

  • .Raina on April 1, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    It is great to see this 'practically Amateur' Dutch team performing so well in this tournament, where they have competed strongly with the 'professional' teams; stretching them so hard in nearly every game and finally getting one over the line. They have gained a fair bit of momentum in the last few years, and who knows what 'else' could have been achieved if RTD would have been a part of this team. ICC needs to find a 'fair' way of including Associate teams like the Dutch in their FTP / Playing Schedule so that this momentum is not lost. More games means more motivation -> more money -> better Infrastructure -> better performance in the long run. Hopefully these promising teams don't go the ZIM way (although they have challenges resulting from purely non-cricketing reasons).

  • on April 1, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    ICC can run itself like a corporate machine, they may mint money from sticking a logo in every patch of free surface associated with a cricket match - but may they also invest in the growth of these Associate nations. As the most cash-rich and powerful cricket boards around - BCCI, CA, ECB and CSA really need to integrate Ireland, Netherlands and Afghanistan into the domestic cricket scene or at least give them some international standard practice. Once upon a time cricketers like Larwood (coal mine), McGrath (gypsy wagon), Richards (prison ward)and Sehwag (rice mill) emerged because we dared to spread cricket beyond the white-collar tea parties. It's truly time to reach out further ...

  • Desihungama on April 1, 2014, 1:52 GMT

    Great article Andrew. Very much enjoyed reading it. I've been a fan of Netherlands cricket ever since their victory over England in 2009. They are a top associate side with Ireland and Afghanistan. Who knows in coming years these teams will be competing for top spots. On the side note, stories like Mudassar Bukhari's are very heartwarming and you always want to cheer for these guys. Pakistan produces lot of cricket talent and it is evident from their presence in quiet a few teams, top and associate alike.

  • DarthKetan on April 1, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    This is very sad to read - I do hope there's a better plan for Associates post-restructuring. The joy on these people's face upon the win is what sport is about....please adminstrators - At the very least, these Associates ought be included in domestic competitions of their 'catchment' test nations. So, Nepal/Afgan have the sub-continent teams, Ireland/Holland have Eng, African countries have SAf, US/Fiji etc have WI etc. Even if it is for T20s only...give them the chance...now that you've seen what they can do in this format!!

  • PierreCheuk on April 1, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    Netherlands were not sufficiently competitive during the 2015 WC Qualifier in NZ in January. 10 Countries took part and Netherlands failed to make the Super Six phase , let alone vie for a Top Four finish which guaranteed the countries who did ODI status for the next 3-4 years.

    ICC does support Associate cricket but the question remains - can ICC grow the game beyond its small band of Full Members ? Countries like PNG ( now with ODI status) and Nepal suggest it can. The magical HK Rugby Sevens tournament over the past 25 years led to an IRB World Sevens circuit which was so successful, that momentum has taken Rugby Sevens into the Olympic Games.Core Sevens teams now include Japan and Spain.

    ICC can choose to propel T20 forward. Shorter tournaments, fewer rest days and multiple global venues with a range of countries participating. It simply takes political will. There is always a way. The Asian Games now includes cricket. Cricket at the Olympics? Now there is a thought !

  • CricketFanOfNepal on April 1, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    Well written article. Dutch out played England, Dutch out played South Africa barring Tahir dream run, which are not only the victory of Dutch but also Associate Cricketing nations. The Associate team achieved much more than test playing nations such as Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and England. The overall performance of Dutch, an Associate Cricketing nation, with limited exposure is the reflection of the very thin gap between test playing nation and associates at least in T20 format. Most of the associate nations should be given adequate opportunities, funding, and exposure if ICC wants to spread the cricket beyond 10 test playing nations. If these nations get many more exposures, this type of result will not be a surprise. Well done Netherlands, you have given good reason for associate teams to acclaim their performance at highest level.

  • on April 2, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    maybe the Dutch team should play in the South African domestic competition given how many South African born players they have?

  • brusselslion on April 1, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    Of course, it's ridiculous that the Dutch do not have a fixture list for this coming season. Also the ECB should be ashamed of itself for not being able to find a place for them in the domestic English structure. However, if the ICC is serious about developing cricket in places like the Netherlands, then it needs to do some real work at improving facilities at the ground level and, perhaps more importantly, getting the local media to take an interest in promoting the sport. Yesterday's victory does not even make the headlines of the sports pages on the NOS (Dutch national broadcaster's site) which says it all about the current enthusiam for cricket amongst the majority of the Dutch population.

  • on April 1, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    ICC can extend the teams getting ODI status from 6 to 10 or even 12 (all the team that played in the world cup qualifier) and also should ask the boards of the full members to help the associates out, maybe include national team in their domestic format then the game will be truly global and also competitive. More the competitive teams, more the revenue ICC gets.....

  • farial_87 on April 1, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    ICC should review their decision of cancelling ODI status of Netherlands and give them chances to improve their cricket. They should keep in mind the newly ODI status countries will also need time to develop their game. Ireland can come up and help the Dutch cricket team at this moment. They can invite a dutch club to participate in their newly formed domestic league. The dutch Cricket board can really concentrate in T20s at this moment. They should renovate their structure and present a fresh proposal for funding and reestablishment in the ODIs.

  • .Raina on April 1, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    It is great to see this 'practically Amateur' Dutch team performing so well in this tournament, where they have competed strongly with the 'professional' teams; stretching them so hard in nearly every game and finally getting one over the line. They have gained a fair bit of momentum in the last few years, and who knows what 'else' could have been achieved if RTD would have been a part of this team. ICC needs to find a 'fair' way of including Associate teams like the Dutch in their FTP / Playing Schedule so that this momentum is not lost. More games means more motivation -> more money -> better Infrastructure -> better performance in the long run. Hopefully these promising teams don't go the ZIM way (although they have challenges resulting from purely non-cricketing reasons).

  • on April 1, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    ICC can run itself like a corporate machine, they may mint money from sticking a logo in every patch of free surface associated with a cricket match - but may they also invest in the growth of these Associate nations. As the most cash-rich and powerful cricket boards around - BCCI, CA, ECB and CSA really need to integrate Ireland, Netherlands and Afghanistan into the domestic cricket scene or at least give them some international standard practice. Once upon a time cricketers like Larwood (coal mine), McGrath (gypsy wagon), Richards (prison ward)and Sehwag (rice mill) emerged because we dared to spread cricket beyond the white-collar tea parties. It's truly time to reach out further ...

  • Desihungama on April 1, 2014, 1:52 GMT

    Great article Andrew. Very much enjoyed reading it. I've been a fan of Netherlands cricket ever since their victory over England in 2009. They are a top associate side with Ireland and Afghanistan. Who knows in coming years these teams will be competing for top spots. On the side note, stories like Mudassar Bukhari's are very heartwarming and you always want to cheer for these guys. Pakistan produces lot of cricket talent and it is evident from their presence in quiet a few teams, top and associate alike.

  • DarthKetan on April 1, 2014, 0:08 GMT

    This is very sad to read - I do hope there's a better plan for Associates post-restructuring. The joy on these people's face upon the win is what sport is about....please adminstrators - At the very least, these Associates ought be included in domestic competitions of their 'catchment' test nations. So, Nepal/Afgan have the sub-continent teams, Ireland/Holland have Eng, African countries have SAf, US/Fiji etc have WI etc. Even if it is for T20s only...give them the chance...now that you've seen what they can do in this format!!

  • Chris_Howard on April 1, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    The ICC needs to bend over backwards to provide international T20 fixtures for the Associates.

    Although I'd much rather see them playing ODI and Tests, T20 give them the best chance of competitiveness and financial viability and thus a stable and long term future.

    For the players it also gives them a chance to promote their stuff to the domestic T20 tournaments, who are nice little earners if you can crack a gig with them.

  • SoyQuearns on March 31, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    What a tragic state of affairs.

    I was the ICC would tip some money into longer-term investments, such as with these competent nations.

    Nepal, Afghanistan, Netherlands, Ireland - tip some cash in to flesh out the amount of 'top-tier' nations.

    Even just give them such status for t20i and/or ODI (for the moment).

    Heck - with the way England are playing in all 3 codes they should be the first country supporting my logical sentiments, they need some easier competition after completely and totally and obviously and inevitably regressing to their former middling, mediocre and boring selves.

    I LOVE THE DUTCH THOUGH!

  • voyrison on March 31, 2014, 23:38 GMT

    Only two Associates are allowed to qualify for each competition which means they miss out a lot. Would be better if they let in four or six, even if some were not too great.

  • on March 31, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    The real men in orange stood up today. It's such a shame for the Netherlands that they have lost their ODI status. It would be great to see them carry this momentum forward.

  • on March 31, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    While the big three look after themselves, the rest of the first tier nations should offer to help the associates develop their potential. The Netherlands have shown how competitive they can be in T20's and a few of the associates are of a similar standard.

  • Stieprox on March 31, 2014, 20:07 GMT

    Dutch should be given T20 international status.they deserve it.

  • on March 31, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    England ought to be ashamed on themselves.

  • on March 31, 2014, 18:48 GMT

    Well played Holland. I wish your players all the best.

  • PanGlupek on March 31, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    "but it would be a foolish, one-eyed administrator who does not acknowledge the vast part Associates can play". Unfortunately, it's those types of administrators that seem to run the game :-)

    Netherlands record regular victories in the English Pro-40, Ireland have been doing the business over test nations for several years now, Nepal & Hong Kong have both done their fans proud, yet the opportunities for these fringe nations seems to be becoming less, not more, frequent.

    I understand that having big teams knocked out early costs the ICC revenue (hence the rather strange formats of almost every WC/WT20 since 2007), but isn't it part of the fun of the game to watch an upset every now and again?

    Goed gedaan, Orantjes :-)

  • on March 31, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    Dutch deserved this victory. such a big fall for england. they are not no. 9/10 team . they are big three.

  • on March 31, 2014, 18:28 GMT

    Well deserved win- Go Netherlands.

  • JJAbraham on March 31, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    Netherlands will be happy to have ended on a hgh note, but they still have flaws they can probably fix. They are a very good team, but tend to throw away their wickets, at times. But overall it has been a very good performance considering they won against Ireland and England, and came close to beating South Africa. For all this, their bowling has to be credited. Wishing them the very best and hoping to see the again at a world cup, soon!

  • Captainman on March 31, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    I think ICC should increase ODI status for associates team from 6 to 8 instead. Netherlands is a big market for Cricket and there's growing interest.

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:53 GMT

    Be nice to see us offer to have them back in the county set-up again. Doubt it though, given that shameless greed is now the order of the day.

  • anton1234 on March 31, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    I think Ireland, Scotland and Holland should be included in the Natwest Blast T20 competition in England from next year. I think the associate countries should only play T20s since they are much more likely to become more competitive in this form than others. It was a stupid move by the ICC to move the T20 World Cup to every four years when this form, rather than the 50 over game, should be used to globalise the game.

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    dutch you beauty.. loved the way you played and entertained... and ICC please promote more of associates in T20 and globalise the game..

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    I don't know why the Dutch don't join forces with the Scottish and Ireland cricket boards to create some sort of first class, List A and T20 competition for themselves.. A couple of teams each from all three countries would help build player depth and regular competition would surely help build the skill levels of all involved. Who knows, the T20 format may even turn a profit!

  • Ghost-117-16 on March 31, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    The only positive for the Dutch is this: If they, and other associates, can find a way to independently develop their nation's domestic cricket system, they will never be beholden to the unholy trinity, ever again.... Maybe 40 years from now, the 'big three' will have no pull with any of the sides which survive the cuts, thereby undermining their short-term gains today.

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    Nice report but i feel you are getting a little negative here. I am sure the Dutch players would be reading this sometime soon and this would make them think ;-) while the should just enjoy :-).

    What a performance.

  • Nduru on March 31, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    I slated the Dutch team earlier, but 'nuff respect. They certainly do have character, and their internationally-cobbled together team is quite good on their day.

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Won' it be great if ICC gives ODI status to the Netherlands and Nepal.... The two associates showed that there is promise in these nation

  • Jonah58 on March 31, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    Its a farce that the Dutch lost ODI status on the back one one poor tournament given how they performed in the WCL leading up to CWC qualifiers. It begs the question as to what, if any value, the ICC put on the 3 year I-Cup cycle of 4 day/ OdI and T20 matches the teams in it play if the results from it a disregarded in such a cavalier fashion. I know its not cool to support associate teams as we are not good enough to compete against the elite. But you would think the ICC in its role as the guardians of the game would actually look at the teams performing in the tournaments the organise wouldn't you, or am I being too naive?

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on March 31, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    performance of dutch team in all t20 world cup is far better than bangladesh! Icc should take half (of the 8 year cycle revenue) of the bang and zimbabwe's money and direct it to associates so that icc can increase number of top associates. In any given day, any associate team can easily beat banglades? Poor in top8.

  • v_giri on March 31, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    India would love to meet SL in final - It would help build psycho advantage for India. But sadly chokers are not choking anymore. How can we get SAf come out of this selective amnesia?

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on March 31, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    icc should extend number of top associates teams from 6 to 10. How could cricket in new nations if icc scraped odi status?

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on March 31, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    icc should extend number of top associates teams from 6 to 10. How could cricket in new nations if icc scraped odi status?

  • v_giri on March 31, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    India would love to meet SL in final - It would help build psycho advantage for India. But sadly chokers are not choking anymore. How can we get SAf come out of this selective amnesia?

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on March 31, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    performance of dutch team in all t20 world cup is far better than bangladesh! Icc should take half (of the 8 year cycle revenue) of the bang and zimbabwe's money and direct it to associates so that icc can increase number of top associates. In any given day, any associate team can easily beat banglades? Poor in top8.

  • Jonah58 on March 31, 2014, 17:02 GMT

    Its a farce that the Dutch lost ODI status on the back one one poor tournament given how they performed in the WCL leading up to CWC qualifiers. It begs the question as to what, if any value, the ICC put on the 3 year I-Cup cycle of 4 day/ OdI and T20 matches the teams in it play if the results from it a disregarded in such a cavalier fashion. I know its not cool to support associate teams as we are not good enough to compete against the elite. But you would think the ICC in its role as the guardians of the game would actually look at the teams performing in the tournaments the organise wouldn't you, or am I being too naive?

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Won' it be great if ICC gives ODI status to the Netherlands and Nepal.... The two associates showed that there is promise in these nation

  • Nduru on March 31, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    I slated the Dutch team earlier, but 'nuff respect. They certainly do have character, and their internationally-cobbled together team is quite good on their day.

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    Nice report but i feel you are getting a little negative here. I am sure the Dutch players would be reading this sometime soon and this would make them think ;-) while the should just enjoy :-).

    What a performance.

  • Ghost-117-16 on March 31, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    The only positive for the Dutch is this: If they, and other associates, can find a way to independently develop their nation's domestic cricket system, they will never be beholden to the unholy trinity, ever again.... Maybe 40 years from now, the 'big three' will have no pull with any of the sides which survive the cuts, thereby undermining their short-term gains today.

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:20 GMT

    I don't know why the Dutch don't join forces with the Scottish and Ireland cricket boards to create some sort of first class, List A and T20 competition for themselves.. A couple of teams each from all three countries would help build player depth and regular competition would surely help build the skill levels of all involved. Who knows, the T20 format may even turn a profit!

  • on March 31, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    dutch you beauty.. loved the way you played and entertained... and ICC please promote more of associates in T20 and globalise the game..