With three white ball games in South Africa, the Netherlands will be keen to put a disastrous T20 World Cup behind them and prove that they belong at this level.
Three games. Three defeats.
There weren’t many positives for the Netherlands to take away from their 20 over World Cup campaign last month in Abu Dabi.
The Dutch performance left many scratching their heads. How could a side so dominant in the 2019 qualifiers finish their campaign so timidly.
Going to the well too often.
Perhaps picking such an exceptionally experienced side was to have its drawbacks.
Players of the calibre of Roelof van der Merwe (36), Stephan Myburgh (37), Ryan ten Doeschate (41) provide great depth, but would have benefited from holding the tournament a year earlier as originally planned.
Associate cricket legend ten Doeschate who was retiring at the end of the tournament wasn’t to feature in their final game against Sri Lanka and had to watch their thrashing by eight wickets from the bench. There would be no farewell.
If this omission didn’t raise eyebrows, only three practice games certainly left fans asking serious questions.
Something to prove.
Last week, news came through that the World Super League, a direct qualifying path for the 50 over World Cup will be scrapped by the International Cricket Council.
In its current and final edition, the 13-team league decides who goes to the 2023 World Cup with the top nine finishers going forward plus India as hosts.
The biggest losers from this decision is the Netherlands who won the World Cricket League Championship – a division below – to join the Super League teams.
Potentially a massive blow for the Netherlands, who will likely be dumped out of top-tier ODI competition after 2023 regardless of how they perform in the current edition of the Super League.— Bertus de Jong (@BdJcricket) November 17, 2021
From 24 ODIs vs Full Members back to begging for one-off games every couple of years. https://t.co/Z8rBbZTIX1
As a WSL team the Dutch had a set pathway for a 50 over World Cup as well as a consistent run of fixtures against top ranked sides – many of which were televised. Now their pathway toward the 2027 World Cup looks uncertain.
Coach Ryan Campbell expressed his frustration at this decision, but accepts they will learn more soon about what lies next.
Immediately that’s three games against South Africa as part of the WSL. Campbell has stated the importance of these remaining fixtures against top flight sides over the next year and a half.
South Africa have rested: Themba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Lungi Ngidi also misses out after testing positive for Covid-19.
Netherlands will be going onto the field with something to prove. Just like when they won WCL Championship in 2017.
The Proteas meanwhile cannot afford to lose out on vital Super League points in the three fixtures if they want to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
South Africa versus the Netherlands is on Sky Sports Cricket this Friday at 11:30. Then again on November 28th and December 1st.