Mommsen, Borren look to savour India trip
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen and his Netherlands counterpart Peter Borren both heaped praise on their respective squads after the two teams were declared co-champions at the World Twenty20 Qualifier following a rained-out final
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen
and his Netherlands counterpart Peter Borren
both heaped praise on their respective squads after the two teams were declared co-champions at the World Twenty20 Qualifier following a rained-out final. Despite the gloomy day, both captains maintained a sunny disposition about their teams' performances over the last 18 days.
"It's the first time that we've topped this tournament, we're ecstatic as a team," Mommsen told ESPNcricinfo after lifting the trophy with Borren. "Throughout this tournament it's been a genuine all-round team performance. There have been many contributions in many different aspects of different games where guys have put in performances to get us over the line.
"I think obviously one or two standout performances but you can look at the squad, the players that took the field are always contributing and that's obviously a sign of a very healthy team, a lot of confidence in each other's skill and that showed throughout the tournament.
"In particular, a special mention to Ali Evans who topped the wicket-taking list, being able to strike at crucial moments, saving us on a lot of occasions with the ball. I think a lot of credit to him but very happy with the way the team has played and gelled together throughout the past three weeks, a very positive sign for the next year at least."
Scotland, on their part, will be making their third trip to the World T20 after qualifying for the first two editions in 2007 and 2009, though they are yet to record a win. Netherlands will also be making their third trip after participating in 2009 and 2014, where they notched Full Member wins over England on both occasions.
Borren was especially pleased with his squad's performance in this tournament as the result comes just four months after Netherlands watched the 2015 World Cup from home. A stunning upset at the hands of Kenya prevented their participation in the knockout stage of the World Cup Qualifier last year in New Zealand and also meant significant decrease in funding from the ICC. Borren, however, felt the team responded positively after a wake-up call that could have crippled cricket in the country.
"We were absolutely gutted to miss out on what was a fantastic World Cup in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year," Borren said. "I think Netherlands have pretty consistently been at world tournaments so that was one we were very disappointed to miss. In a way, a lot has changed in the last two years in Dutch cricket. We've become far more professional.
It's very strange that we have to play a million games to try and actually play our first game in the proper World Cup
"Guys are training five times a week and we've worked really hard. It could have been a real knock-back for us, not making the World Cup. There were a few people who said that could have left Dutch cricket in a difficult position but a lot of credit to the guys and Anton Roux our coach.
"He's really driven us forward in a more professional manner and I think we're a pretty good team now. It's not just that we have talented players but talented players who have worked hard together and you can see that in our results and how we play out in the middle."
Borren made it clear to point out his team was far from achieving the bigger goal of making the main draw of the tournament. Borren does not even consider the eight-team opening round - which the six Associate qualifying teams will participate in for a chance to go into the main draw - an actual part of the tournament. Instead, he refers to the tournament as a 10-team World T20 in which his side have now just progressed to the next stage of qualifying.
"It's not really up to me but it's very strange that we have to play a million games to try and actually play our first game in the proper World Cup," Borren said. "Last year, Ireland won the qualifying tournament (in 2013), won every game (going 8-0), lost one game against us (in the preliminary phase in Bangladesh) and they don't get to go to the World Cup. It's unbelievable. It's ridiculous."