Helmien Rambaldo will lead a 14-member Netherlands team to South Africa for the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge tournament in Potchefstroom, the Netherlands board has announced. Experienced allrounder Caroline Salomons, who played in the Women's European Championship last month, has been left out of the squad.
Netherlands, currently ranked 10th, have made steady progress recently. They played county cricket in England during the summer and earned a promotion to Division 3. At the European Championship in August, they beat Scotland in their final game to secure a berth for the Women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in November 2011.
Coach Ed de Moura Correia feels the players have improved a lot over the past few weeks. "This can be attributed to their [players'] commitment and hard work. Taking part is crucial for Netherlands as it will now meet ICC requirements for number of ODIs and T20s. The Netherlands are grateful to the ICC for staging this tournament".
Rambaldo, who studied in South Africa, is looking forward to going back. "It will be a challenge to play against teams that have been playing more and better cricket these last two years. But we have gone a new route and it is an excellent opportunity to see where we stand."
To enable the players to acclimatise to the high altitude at Potchefstroom, a special training schedule has been devised. The team departs for South Africa on October 2. The tournament starts on October 6 and the Netherlands will play 5 ODIs and 3 T20s against Ireland, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and South Africa.
Netherlands Women H Rambaldo (capt), V Wattenberg (wk), M Braat, L Brouwers, E Gerritse, C de Groot, D Hannema, E de Lange, E Lanser, Mariska Kornet, M Nijman, D Prins, A Tanke, M Veringmeier
On stand-by: N Hennis, H Hofman, A Mol and C Toussaint