‘Dutch fancy chances as underdogs’

Published October 16, 2021
A file photo of Netherlands players celebrating taking a wicket against Ireland in 2016. — AP/File
A file photo of Netherlands players celebrating taking a wicket against Ireland in 2016. — AP/File

THE HAGUE: The Netherlands open their assault on the Twenty20 World Cup on Monday against Ireland.

Both team head coach Ryan Campbell and captain Pieter Seelaar have high hopes for the little associate country, known for punching above their own weight and upsetting some big name teams — just as they did in 2009 when they stunned England at Lord’s.

“We bring a really well-balanced side. I think this squad has a number of great assets including our fast bowlers who proved so successful at the qualifiers in 2019,” said Campbell. “We have players who can bat 1-9, which will also provide us with six or seven bowling options at any given time.”

Are Dutch always the underdogs?

“We are always the underdogs unfortunately as world cricket isn’t on a level playing field,” Campbell said. “We all know that full members have massive cash and assets at their disposal. But we never look at it that way; we just see it as an opportunity to upset the big guys. The players see it as a great challenge as well as a chance to pit themselves against the best players in the world.”

What is the difference from the 2009 team now?

“Arguably the biggest thing is the professionalism,” said captain Pieter Seelaar. “In 2009 we were just happy to compete. Now we’re actually looking to win games. We want to take it to the next level and get the respect from the full members.”

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2021

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