Associates at the World Cup May 1, 2011

Netherlands take chance to press case


With the chance of Associate nations competing at the next World Cup still hanging in the balance ahead of the ICC's meeting in Hong Kong during June, any chance they get to push their claims through performance is valuable. For Netherlands that opportunity has come in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition, the English domestic 40-over event, and two victories followed by a one-run defeat in a magnificent chase against Middlesex at Lord's won't have done any harm.

Netherlands finished the recent World Cup without a victory but not without some credit. They pushed England mighty close in their opening game and gave India a few nervous moments. The biggest disappointment for them was defeat against fellow Associate nation, Ireland, but now those two sides are united in a battle to prove they are worthy of at least a chance to appear in 2015. These recent victories against Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and the brilliant effort to maintain an asking rate of nearly ten an over against Middlesex, should add to the squirming at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.

"More than anything it underlines the fact that Associates should be at the World Cup," Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, told ESPNcricinfo. "I think one of the other captains said he wasn't sure how much we learnt from going to the World Cup, well, I think our performances so far showed we learnt a lot. There's obviously a place for Associate teams at the World Cup. It's very disappointing they even considered going that way and hopefully the decision can be revisited.

"It's a decision made by those who want ten Full Members and we don't get much of a say there," he added. "It's a shame because cricket in Holland, and Associate cricket in general, has certainly developed over the last four years. I think we played pretty well at the World Cup. It's a step backwards, but hopefully our cricket here can keep our name up there."

Clearly they are not facing international quality attacks in the county competition, but to counter that argument Netherlands are also without some key players. Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored two hundreds at the World Cup, is at the IPL (and will rejoin Essex afterwards) while Alexei Kervezee was down the road at Canterbury, guiding Worcestershire to victory over Kent. Tom Cooper, the former Australia Under-19 batsman, is now the mainstay of the order as he showed with his superb 100-ball 126 at Lord's.

To help plug the gap, Netherlands have looked towards Australia and brought in Michael Swart and Shane Mott. This isn't a side overflowing with Dutch talent, but there is some in the form of Tom de Grooth and Pieter Seelaar, the left-arm spinner, and if imports can make the team competitive which in turn encourages youngsters to take up the game in Holland, then it's worthwhile.

"We certainly aren't a one-man band and haven't been for a while," Borren said. "Ryan has played fantastically well for us but we've had plenty of other contributions over the last few years. Hopefully we are developing better cricketers, but it does take playing at the top level, getting more exposure, to encourage those kids to play who will hopefully one day play for Holland."

It is vital they have something to aim towards, and while an expanded World Twenty20 has been offered as a sop, that has the distinct feeling of palming off the Associates. They aren't asking for a rubber-stamped invite to Australia and New Zealand, but just the courtesy and honour of being able to compete for a spot. ESPNcricinfo understands that, unless can prove there is absolutely no room for a qualifying event in the international calendar, the Associates could have a strong legal case for the decision to be overturned.

"We just want the opportunity," Borren said. "We aren't a professional outfit but imagine if we were and if we played more cricket against the top teams. I can only see that cricket would grow and benefit so to me it's puzzling. I don't know what will happen. It's a big blow if we miss the World Cup. It's big for the Full Members, but they play a lot of decent cricket between themselves. For us the World Cup is the pinnacle."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dre on May 5, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    @enigma. When I say similarities between NZ and Ire, I don't mean they are EXACTLY the yet. NZ has played MANY more matches at a higher level than Ire. Who is to say Ire wouldn't have achieved just as much if they have been playing just as much cricket/experience and training as NZ. The problem with the qualifiers is that at least 2 teams, who are CLEARLY much better than the rest of the associates will be robbed of the opportunity to gain that much needed experience and exposure. What good would it do for these players to keep playing against the likes of Nambia and Nepal? Look at Ten Doeschate, he has an IPL contract. Look at Eoin Morgan. Kevin O' Brien may follow suit, all due to exposure and a chance to play higher level cricket. The act of "protecting" countries where the game is more secure is cowardly! Expansion is better and can eventually be financially rewarding but it is going to take risks of course.

  • sachin on May 4, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    @Neutral_Fan/Notredam, you just don't get it do you? As I've said on other articles,cricket is very difficult sport to spread & make financially viable due to its length & complexity hence to ensure its future its traditional "fortresses" must be defended & that's why its essential to keep sport solvent that most of the "cricketing nations" must play & without them Associates would be dead anyway, thus most of the "cricketing nations" just being there ensures profit but some are definitely lagging & Asso. also need some incentive & that's why 10-team WC with last 2 spots being up for grabs; still no RATIONAL person'd argue that at least 8 of them are way ahead of Asso. As I've said before, if Asso. believe they're so good, then they shouldn't mind 10-team WC & back themselves to knock-out the last 2 "cricketing nations". Reliance on imports actually shows lack of depth & viability & this season so far, ND have won 2 & lost 2 while SCOT have lost all 4; hardly worth taking any notice.

  • sachin on May 4, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    @Neutral_Fan, my point about "long-term" regarding Irl was related to the fact that you think they're viable while I've said they're not because IF THEY WERE, then they'd definitely want to maximise their profit as well as establish their candidacy for Test-cricket by organising their own FC structure but obviously, there's neither enough public-interest nor money in Irl cricket at the moment thus they can't stake a claim for a free berth at WC2015. Comparison between Irl & NZ is somewhat misplaced, NZ reached the SFs of the WC2011 while Irl won just a single game worth taking any notice, even WI beat them relatively comfortably so they're nowhere near these team, not to mention with lack of public-interest & insufficient infrastructure, they can easily go Kenya's way. As I've said, if any Associate thinks they're good enough, they'd prefer 10-team WC & would want to make a strong statement by winning a spot thru the qualifiers; the only reason they'd want 12 or more teams is MONEY.

  • Siddharth on May 4, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    @ enigma///so as Bangla...Zimmes...and in today standard ...Kiwis,,and windies..alos have to prove their worth...So also Kiwis and windies are in deep finanical crisis...So they also dnt have much factor contibituing to their particiaption...So ask them also to sit out of the world cup...and world will not care even if Kiwis and windies...bangla..zimmies wont play the world cup..becoz they are hopeless...and they are financial dependent on ICC to give them coffers.

  • Dre on May 3, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    @enigma. How many boards are COMPLETELY financially independent? Let me think...maybe the BCCI, maybe CA...err, can't think of many else. If being completely financially independent is a requirement for WC participation (by the way the hot topic is 2015 and not necessarily "long term") then the most we could dare to hope for is 3-4 teams in WC 2015. Besides every1 can clearly see Ire at least are made of different stuff from Bang (poor country with immature players_) and Zim (poor country with poor governance). As I said b-4, they more resemble the NZ team or even the 1st Zim tea, teams which can punch above their weight by doing the simple things well. Ire are superb in the field already. Pak have been playing forever and are still awful in the field. As for Ned winning 2 games last yr, well that's last yr. This yr. they look better even without Ten Doeschate and Kerverzee, despite relying on imports. If we can get an A team in Wc 2015 to make it interesting, I am for it.

  • sachin on May 3, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    @Notredam, as I've said a million times to you & all your monickers on so many threads like these, it does NOT matter how many people agree with me because vast majority of them don't know about financial & other systems in cricket, my only intention is to offer them a little perspective on it & hopefully rational & objective ones will try to find out more about it to better understand it; further, we don't live in a communist-utopia from your dreams so cricket is a business like any other so it's always going to take financial viability into account while conducting its activities; not to mention, as I've said before, most of the cricket-world wouldn't care whether there were 10 teams or not, or whether Irl were in it or not so comments on articles related to Associates are hardly representative of the cricket-world. Moreover, Pak,Ind,etc don't have anything to prove but ND, SCOT, etc have A LOT to prove & their only route is County-Cricket so them LOSING games there DOES count.

  • Siddharth on May 3, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    @ enigma u say in english 40 over and scots hvnt been good.Let bangla play in english domestic or even zimmies....and lets have their report card as well..wont be over 30 wins for them surely 2..So scrap this dea...see the present this year dutch and irsih hve done exceptionally dnt luk in past...if u look in past kiwis were thrashed by let them also remove test status..the real test or irish players come out when they DON the national cap and not some domestic cmtion for some money making get it right..even pakistan..or indians playing in english 20-- or 40 over will not take it that seriusly..

  • Siddharth on May 3, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    @enigma77543.. Well buddy..U say that Irish and scots have ben hopeles.and lost 10 of 12 matches..Letss forget the past..see what irish have done in 2011 owrld cup...As if u see the past..bangla..have lost 98% of matches between 2000-05..its now only that they lose..85% of improvement is coming in.As for my posts not taken seriusly..No one is backing u mate in ur suggestions for 10 team world cup..Have either 6 team world cup..or 12 team wc...Kiwis..bangla..windies..windies..all are fasten ur seat belt and let kiwis be out of the world cup..if u r able to digest simple as it

  • Andrew on May 3, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    @redneck - same goes for Cooper, (as you would know being a Sth Ozzy).

  • sachin on May 2, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    @Neutral_Fan, did they say they're COMPLETELY financially independent? Haven't they said like they generate "most" of the revenue, the term "most" leaves ample room for movement but they're DEFINITELY NOT viable at the moment. And who's talking about 2015,I'm talking long-term, they know that if they want to aim for Test-status in the long-run then they must've functioning 4-day FC structure; they'd know that after disappointing results with Zim & Ban, ICC are going to be cautious with Test-status now, & they'll have to have an FC structure & if they rely on County-Cricket then that only reinforces my point about plight of cricket in Irl ATM. I've said nothing ND's structure but they're in worse position than Irl as most players aren't local, at least Irl have that going for them but my point about ND & SCOT was that they played in Eng domestic 1-day comp last year as well & both lost 10 out of 12 games each;APPALLING for so called "international" teams; they need MASSIVE improvement

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