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May 30, 2010
Voorburg's Westvliet ground has been approved by the ICC as Netherlands' latest ODI venue. It joins the VRA ground in Amstelveen and the Hazelaarweg ground in Rotterdam in gaining ODI status.
An ICC inspection team comprising Alan Hurst and pitch consultant Andy Atkinson revisited the ground during a game on Sunday, and made a positive recommendation to the ICC.
The decision means the venue will be used to host the World Cricket League Division One tournament in July, along with the other two ODI venues. Westviliet is also due to host an Intercontinental Cup fixture involving Netherlands and Zimbabwe that same month, making it the country's fifth first-class venue.
The ground has undergone improvements in the recent months, including the installation of a new scoreboard. However, the ICC's decision may not have gone down well with several other Associate countries. Westviliet does not fulfil ICC regulations as one of the boundaries is too short, a reason why some other grounds in other Associate nations have been denied an ODI status. An exception was made by the ICC in this case to enable Netherlands to host the WCL tournament in July.
Richard Cox, the chief executive of the Royal Dutch Cricket Association, welcomed the news. "We are delighted to have worked in close partnership with VCC to support their quest for ODI status, and we look forward to them hosting matches in the World Cricket League this summer," he said. "This news has come on the back of a hard winter's work by officials of the club and KNCB to pull this together.
"We will now be turning our attentions to Salland in Deventer to ensure that they too are awarded this status, so that Dutch Cricket has four grounds of international status for domestic, European and world cricket, allowing us to profile the game to new levels."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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