Netherlands v UAE, World T20, Group B, Sylhet

Borren proud of Netherlands' focus

Abhishek Purohit in Sylhet

March 17, 2014

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Tom Cooper took two wickets in an over, Netherlands v United Arab Emirates, World T20, 1st round, Group B, March 17, 2014
Tom Cooper flew into a controversy but it did not distract him from a matchwinning performance © ICC
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You have not been able to qualify for the World Cup. You come straight to the World T20 next hoping to make the main round, and just before your opening game, a replaced team-mate accuses the management of "cheating" to get a key player in.

Tim Gruijters went out, Tom Cooper came in and so did controversy. No side would want to enter a world event amid such drama, but Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, was proud that his side had come through the matter with an emphatic win over UAE.

And leading the way was Cooper, Man of the Match for his two key wickets and an unbeaten 34 that guided Netherlands home. Cooper was always expected to play an important role for Netherlands, but Borren did not think he needed such a performance to justify his controversial entry into the tournament.

"I don't think there was ever an issue of whether or not Tom was going to vindicate his selection," Borren said. "He is a fantastic all-round cricketer. It's an unfortunate thing to have happened to Tim and I am sure he is very disappointed about it. At the same time, I am not really in a position to talk about that decision because right now, we are in the middle of... This week is a pretty big week of cricket. And those things that have happened or may have happened in the last few days, Tim's disappointment with his injury, in some way it was a distraction for us.

"I am very glad that the team was able to go out there, put that to one side. I know everyone was excited about the game tonight, very excited about getting out there. I don't think that was a distraction we necessarily needed today but I am very proud of the guys overcoming it."

While asked about Gruijters' video outburst, Borren said the man was entitled to his opinion but did not think the incident had had such an impact on the side to the point that it could become a rallying issue.

"It really hasn't been a huge talking point within the squad. The boys were pretty keen on getting out here, enjoying the day. Obviously feeling for Tim and... It's not really my position to talk about that, to be honest. We want to come here and play some good cricket. As for galvanising the squad, perhaps, I don't know. For me, it didn't change my focus too much, so maybe you have to ask some of the other boys."

"His timing... I wouldn't want to answer too many questions about it.

"I don't think it was ideal timing. In saying that, Tim's an adult and he is allowed to express his opinion. But as I say, I don't think it had a major effect on the team here today. The boys played really well, we are looking forward to the next match and I guess that's sort of where the squad's at, at the moment."

Cooper himself did not think he had drawn any additional motivation from the episode to push himself harder on the field. "No, not really.

"I was just fortunate to get the call-up to come over here," Cooper said. "I was excited about that. Like I said, I prepared as I would for any other game. If you let too much of that get into your head, then you are not concentrating on the number one thing, which is doing your job with the bat and the ball and in the field. It would have been silly to put any added pressure over something like that."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Dunross on (March 17, 2014, 20:38 GMT)

Borren doesn't want to answer because het is not Dutch and only thinks of himself...after the ride he will return to NZ...

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