Borren vows to make amends for World Cup exit
"No one knows the Netherlands cricket team in Holland," said Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, responding to a question on cricket having a significantly smaller following compared to football back home. With such a tiny cricket base, Borren said he was proud of what his side had achieved in the past decade, having represented the nation in multiple world tournaments. Failure to qualify for the 2015 World Cup has been a huge setback, though, and Borren hoped his team could prosper enough in the World T20 to show the world that Netherlands cricket had not regressed.
"Cricket is not a very big sport in Holland," Borren said. "Football and hockey are huge. We come here representing a very small cricketing community. We are very proud to do that. We are not going to be walking around in Amsterdam and people recognising us. It is not like (footballer Robin) van Persie or anything like that.
"For us to come and represent Holland on the global stage is a very big achievement actually for Netherlands cricket because it is not a big sport there and we hope that in the last ten years we have had some opportunities to do that. The cricketing community is not so big but Holland has done very well in that sense. We are very proud of what we have done.
"We hope to cause some upsets here, perhaps we can grow the sport a little bit more in Holland then. I guess every time the national team does well and we can get some sort of press coverage back home, that is a real bonus and hopefully we can get more people keen on the game in Holland and we can go from strength to strength from there."
Borren said the importance of the World T20 for Netherlands had increased after the recent World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand, where they finished fourth in their group and lost their ODI status. "The significance of this tournament because of what happened in New Zealand is now greater. It is an opportunity for us in a way to make a bit of a statement that what happened in New Zealand was not a fair reflection of where this team has come in the last three years. It is quite a cut-throat sort of tournament, you can have a bad day and you cannot afford it. We had two of those in New Zealand and I guess that really cost us.
"Coming here straight after is a very good thing for us. As I said, we have a chance to make amends, to prove to people, not just back home in Holland, but in the Associate world, also the world of cricket, that Netherlands cricket has improved in the last three-four years and we are better than what happened in New Zealand."
Borren expected his bowlers to play a big role in helping Netherlands achieve that aim in the World T20. While he hoped his batsmen's struggles in the warm-up games would not affect their performance in the tournament, he said his attack, which includes a left-arm chinaman spinner, could make it difficult for opposition line-ups.
"We have got a lot of variety in our attack actually. It is very easy for me out in the middle as I have eight guys who can bowl and for different batters and wickets, we have got options. It is not necessary that our bowlers have to bowl four overs either. Someone could come on, bowl one over, do the job and get out of there again.
"That is a real bonus for me as a captain. Sometimes it gets difficult in T20 if you have only five-six bowlers. Very happy with our attack, the way we have been going in the last two matches. I think we are going to present a good challenge to the batting opposition in our next three games."
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo