ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

England v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur

Netherlands can boost Associate image

Nagraj Gollapudi in Nagpur

February 21, 2011

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Ryan Ten Doeschate's century went in vain, Kenya v Netherlands, 1st ODI, Nairobi, February 16, 2010
So much rests on Ryan ten Doeschate's shoulders for Netherlands © Thota Sreenivas
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It is a difficult time to be an Associate. With plans to curtail the number of teams to ten for the next edition of the World Cup, the ICC has inadvertently put a psychological burden on the shoulders of the four Associates participating in this edition. The heavy defeats suffered by Kenya and Canada on Sunday have only added to the pressure. So is it time for the Netherlands, who begin their campaign tomorrow against England, to step up the plate?

Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, does not necessarily agree that his team need to win to prove the ICC or anybody else wrong. "The decision from the ICC will not have any effect on whether we should step up or not. We have taken a professional approach to our preparations. What might happen in 2015 will not matter going into tomorrow's game."

Borren, who has been laid low by an abdominal strain and failed to play in the warm-up matches, had his first complete training on Sunday and declared himself fit play as a batsman but won't bowl. He also had another take on the ICC move, when pushed to take a stand.

"It is hard to have an opinion until we need to prove ourselves out there on the field," he said. "Perhaps [then] we can make our own statement with regards to what happens in the future of the 50-over World Cup. The Associates offer a lot in a World Cup. Everyone enjoys the underdog doing well and there have been instances throughout all World Cups. We are hoping by pulling off some results that happened in the past we can then ask that question on the field."

One such upset happened when Netherlands shocked England at Lord's in the opening match of the 2009 World Twenty20. That four-wicket win remains fresh in the minds of both contestants with Andrew Strauss sounding out an alert to his players. "If we are 10 percent off and they [Holland] have a good day, we are in trouble," he said.

It was the first significant victory for Netherlands, who also got the better of Bangladesh last year in an ODI in Glasgow and Borren felt the team are in the right frame of mind. "We have prepared as well as we can. Obviously that night [against England] gives us little bit of the confidence going into tomorrow's fixture. With the confidence in the team and the preparation we have had in the last two years it would be nice to pull off a victory as we did two years ago."

Still it will be not an easy ride. Even if England enter the World Cup after a long Ashes tour and a 6-1 drubbing at the hands in the ODI series, they remain the favourites with numerous matchwinners in their ranks. Netherlands, meanwhile, will look to their key player in Ryan ten Doeschate, the Essex allrounder and Associate Player of the Year.

Though Borren said that all 15 squad members could create an impact, the numbers betray that confidence. Netherlands have had only five centurions in their ODI history and three of them are retired - although ten Doeschate has three tons to his name - and no bowler has ever taken a five-wicket haul.

The onus will be on ten Doeschate, Tom Cooper from South Australia and Worcestershire's Alexei Kervezee, the only professionals in the squad, to influence Netherland's chances. However, the other man who could play an important role is Bas Zuiderent who is the only Dutchman to play every World Cup match. He appeared in his first World Cup as an 18-year-old in 1996 and hit a fifty against England, 15 years to the day when the teams meet on Tuesday.

"If we can create pressure through disciplined bowling in our areas and fielding well I expect to create chances, but it is also about taking them," Borren said. Only a collective effort can ensure that Netherlands can celebrate more nights like the one on June 25, 2009 and force the ICC to not dim the lights on them.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 19 
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Posted by David on (February 24, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

pools of 7 is the issues, too many games which at the end of the tournament means very little. there are A) the 8 established test teams, then B) bangladesh & zimbabwe & not far behind ireland & holland. & C) the teams that are a fair way behind but with potential. including Kenya who are a little hot & cold, Scotland who have produced some very good players, & also Canada, USA, Afghanistan, Bermuda etc. if they go pools of 4 with 2 A 1 B & 1 C then they can keep developing the the minow countries. furthermore teams won't have played 6 games before the knock out phase & will be fresh as will the tournament. & there will be more on the line in the pool stage with a shock loss being quite detrimental.

Posted by Dwight on (February 22, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

good to see an associate side showing progress, teams like the netherlands n ireland that have made alot of progress, play competitive games and have homegrown talents not just ex pats like teams like canada, should earn more games against test nations and really be given test status

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 13:58 GMT)

Today Netherlands really played an extra ordinary game, thanks to Ryan ten Doeschate, who carried the burden all time and Peter Borren who lead the team..every dutch contributed their own......they are fearless and they really deserve more chances from ICC to play against test nations...I hope ICC will include them in more games, so that the Dutch will continue to showcase their talent

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 13:50 GMT)

they really played an extra ordinary game today....they are fearless and Ryan ten Doeschate played superb game...they deserve more chances from icc and i hope they will play more games like these in future

Posted by GOPAL on (February 22, 2011, 13:16 GMT)

why doesn"t icc have more tournaments between the giants and the minnows instead of boring india-srilanka series. Why not india-netherlands odi series gopal

Posted by Brandon on (February 22, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

The icc should not remove the associates!!! i mean cant we at least play 3- matches per day ???? day or two rest for each competing team

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

Canada is a weak agreed but kenya, zimbabwe, netherland are not very weak teams, they are just warming up when they rise they will rise big. i have rooted hopes on these nations.

Posted by Jason on (February 22, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

@suhhirg2007, I agree that the associates should take part in more series agaisnt the established teams, and as far as im aware Holland, Ireland and Scotland are all invited to play the English domestic 40 over competition. I believe the Australians have an ODI warm up game against the Irish or the Scottish during an Ashes tour. The other option is to play the established teams A-teams home and away, not only at the One day but also in the longer format, to give them a taste for test cricket.

Posted by varun on (February 22, 2011, 7:43 GMT)

exactly. i dont see why the organisation is so tepid. 9 days between matches is too much. They should have 3 games everyday. if its with broadcast issues, ESS have three channels and can show them accordingly... 42 games should get over in about 15 days. and about 10 days for the Quarters, semis and finals.. We should be having a 25 day tournament and not a 50 day yawn... And by this we can also schedule in such a way that each day could have a BIG match and 1-2 associate matches.. People will be hooked on to the world cup that way

Posted by Andrew on (February 22, 2011, 7:12 GMT)

Tough on Netherlands that they have to carry the weight of Kenya & Canada's failures. We should be looking to Ireland for that!

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