ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Netherlands v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mohali

Borren rues not playing Full Members often

Firdose Moonda in Mohali

March 2, 2011

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, was a shattered man after his team's 215- run defeat to the West Indies on Monday. He arrived at his post-match press conference looking exhausted, more emotionally than physically, and he offered no excuses for the batting line-up being shot out for 115 after the bowlers conceded 330.

He's had two days to let that disappointment marinate in his mind and now he has answers for why it happened. "It is very difficult coming into a competition to play Full-member teams when we haven't for a long while," Borren said in Mohali. "We don't play at this level enough and we played fantastically against England and poorly against West Indies and that's the second and third ODIs against Full members we've had in two years."

It's this lack of consistency of high-level competition that Borren says undoes the Associates at global tournaments, and it would do the same to any team, minnow or not, that wasn't continually playing some of the others. "How do you think a Full member would go if they didn't play other full members for four years and then had to come into this World Cup?," he asked the journalist who questioned why the Dutch had gone from a team that was competitive against England and rolled over against West Indies.

The opportunities for them to compete against Full-Member countries come rarely, with Netherlands only playing against one, Bangladesh, in their last 28 ODIs before this World Cup. They have never played a series against a Full member and spend most of their team competing against Afghanistan, Kenya, Canada and Ireland. While the Full members must abide by the ICC's Future Tours Programme, Borren says they make little effort to visit the Associates outside of that. "The same countries that say we shouldn't be at World Cups are the same ones that don't play us between World Cups and that's difficult."

Captain Peter Borren watches Netherlands' training session, Delhi, February 27, 2011
Peter Borren has called for more games for Associate nations against the Full-member teams © Associated Press

Major tournaments present them with the chance to play more than one Full Member in a space of a few weeks and even though upsets are only occasional, Borren thinks the experience comes from simply being a part of the event. "I think we learn a lot," he said. "Some people say we don't learn much, but I disagree. We struggle to learn from playing a lot of games against the same teams. We need to play at higher levels at times to learn a bit more."

That's why, according to Borren, despite knowing that they may be in for a pounding, the Associate teams look forward to testing themselves against Full Members and judging whether or not they have improved. "It's exciting to play against the world's best players. It's a real big challenge and something to look forward to."

Results have become almost secondary to the Associate cause, especially as the tournament draws on and they've already registered a few losses. It's the small milestones, like batting out a full 50 overs, scoring a few more runs than the last time, conceding fewer boundaries and taking the tough catches, that start to matter. Borren calls it, "playing to our own standard," and he feels Netherlands "haven't reached or even come close to that" in their first two games.

Their bowling has been their biggest downfall. "We lost [against England] because we didn't bowl the right areas and we didn't do again against West Indies. I was not happy after the England game because I thought we could have bowled in better areas." Most of the team practices on artificial turf at home but that's not an excuse for Borren who wants a better showing from the bowlers.

Borren also wants more from all of his batsmen, and not just ten Doeschate. Although he called the performance against England "close to what we can do with the bat," he still thinks there is room for improvement. That innings was largely the work of ten Doeschate and Borren wants to see the rest of the batsmen "spending time at the crease and building partnerships."

The Dutch have had just three days to strategise about how they are going to improve almost all elements of their game. It may too little time to realistically think all the changes will be possible, but for Borren, it's been just enough time to be hungry enough to want to play for pride. "After what was a disappointing performance we can put it right tomorrow."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Comments: 19 
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Posted by Sharky on (March 3, 2011, 10:50 GMT)

Well said Borren!!!! The associates needs to be in the World Cup, and I think that this 14 Countries World Cup, are the best format for a world Cup. The ICC must not change the rules everytime. Keep it like it is. I love this World Cup. And they should play at least 10 games a year against "Full members. Only two groups with only 2 teams not going thru to quaters, is ideal!

Posted by Surj on (March 3, 2011, 8:24 GMT)

I think Indian bowling attack and fielding is worse than some minnows' and they dont hve much future in thse areas also. countries like Ireland, Holland, etc will be at par with them when the like of Tendulkar, Sewag, Zaheer, Harbi, etc move out of the scene.

Posted by Adam on (March 3, 2011, 7:48 GMT)

ICC will never listen to this, but how about this for an idea. A B league including the minnows as well as SA B team, Australian B team etc. That would allow players from the minnow teams to experience playing more often against the bigger sides and better players.

Posted by ashok on (March 3, 2011, 7:45 GMT)

Out of all the Associate teams, Canada and Kenya are looking very poor in form, Netherlands and Ireland have proved their worth. Not sure still on Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 3, 2011, 7:22 GMT)

I think Peter Borren's idea is not a bad one either. what are these so called 'A' teams from each team doing anyways ??? can't they play against the minnows? atleast associate teams would get a good exposure of cricket at the level which is at par to the full timers.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 3, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

Well Said Borren.For starters,he has offered a long term solution to the problem which is far better than the myopic ones put forward by ICC like curtailing the teams.Sending A teams of top ten sides could be a start,if tours programme does not allow jamming in bilateral series .

Posted by Tatai on (March 3, 2011, 6:20 GMT)

ICC should make it compulsory as a part of the Futures program for each test playing nation to play 2 one-dayers against any one Associate nation each year. We are just talking about 2 days of cricket in a full year. That means, between the 8 test playing countries, they will play cumulatively 16 games in one year. ICC-- you must do something for the development of this game outside of the places where Cricket already is a major sport.

Posted by Jordan on (March 3, 2011, 5:54 GMT)

International t20 league, 14 teams, 2 year cycle, each team plays each other home and away in 3-game series. These can be tacked on to other tours (such as when Aus played Scotland before the last ashes) which should be limited to max 3 test, 3 ODI. Some games may be played at neutral venus depending on facilities, or to accomodate mini-series, such as SCO-AUS-ENG-IRE series. Four qualifying associate teams will compete. This will give them regular exposure to playing top teams, managing a team for long periods, building depth, possibly raising money for their governing body by playing the version of cricket that is more evenly contested between lesser teams that people are more inclined to watch. 6 teams qualify for the playoffs, played in best of 3 'series' every 2 years

Posted by Andrew on (March 3, 2011, 5:17 GMT)

I am ALL for the Associates being in the W/Cup. We have a Champions Trophy already we DON't need two! A few times I have championed a 16-team W/C format, with 4 groups of 4 - with the top 2 in each group advancing to the finals. All that would be needed to make this work is the Associates entering SOME bilateral series (making them tri-series). With some series being 7 matches, if the 3 teams played each other twice, with the top two in the final - you still get 7 games & sponsors are happy! (Admit that the games against the minnow won't sell as well), but a "winner takes all final" should compensate. You could then have 16 teams in the W/Cup. You would have only 3 qualifying matches - (not the bloated & meaningless 6), the minnows would get AT LEAST 1 match against a side of similar capability, AND a dud result for a powerhouse (read England against Ireland), & the superpower may not qualify for the finals. This would save around 14 games on the current model!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jawwad on (March 3, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

Way to go Netherlands! Really enjoying cricket being played by your team. You're right on the track. Please do visit Pakistan and get an exposure to some quality cricket by playing domestic teams and it will also help the country in resuming int. cricket.

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