After nearly a year’s wait, the Netherlands men’s national cricket team host England, the reigning 50-over World Cup Champions, at the VRA Ground in Amstelveen on Friday for the first in a rescheduled three-match One Day International series.
The Dutch are winless across all formats since their 2-1 series victory over Ireland in Utrecht last June but will be eager to build on their impressive showings against West Indies and New Zealand to cause an upset on England’s first tour to the Netherlands.
The two sides have met thrice in the format, with England emerging as victors on all three occasions. However, the Dutch hold the upper hand in T20 Internationals after having blanked England at the T20 World Cup in 2009, with a last-ball win at Lord’s, and a thumping 45-run win in Dhaka at the 2014 T20 World Cup.
‘It might be a scar for England but for us, it’s just joyful memories,’ Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar said at the pre-match press conference. ‘We’re playing a different format here and England at that time were in a different mindset in white-ball cricket to where they are now. A third win would be fantastic.’
Points from the series contribute towards the next 50-over World Cup in India in 2023. However, the Netherlands are destined to head to the World Cup qualifiers as direct qualification is nearly out of their hands, having won just two games out of 13 in the World Cup Super League so far. They do have 11 fixtures remaining against the likes of England, Pakistan, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
England, on the other hand, are well-placed on the third position with nine wins out of 15 matches. Their squad, captained by Eoin Morgan, is missing several regular names in Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, all involved in a Test series against New Zealand back home, but will feature World Cup winners Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Adil Rashid.
Their bowling outfit features as many as five left-arm seamers in Sam Curran, Reece Topley, David Willey and the uncapped duo of David Payne and Luke Wood with Brydon Carse, the Durham fast-bowler, the only right-hand pacer in the squad. The series is an opportunity for England to build on their excellent white-ball pool of players and will be the first under their new head coach, Matthew Mott.
As for the Netherlands, they continue to be without county-contracted players Colin Ackermann, Paul van Meekeran and Roelof van der Merwe but will be boosted by the return of fast bowlers Fred Klaassen and Shane Snater.
A common feature for the Dutch has been their middling returns from the middle-order batters that have often been the difference between a win and a loss in the format.
In order to plug the gap, they have handed a recall to Tom Cooper, who is set to return after last donning the Oranje at the 2016 T20 World Cup in India. Out-of-contract with South Australia, the KNCB confirmed his availability for the rest of the International fixtures too.
‘In recent years, some important players of the Dutch national team have stopped. The availability of Dutch players employed by English counties is also limited,’ Roland Lefebvre, the Netherlands’ high-performance manager, said.
‘The knowledge and experience, but also the mentoring role that Tom will have within the young Dutch national team, is of great value,’ he said of the 35-year-old Cooper, who has featured in 18 T20Is and 23 ODIs and has struck a century and eight fifties in the 50-over format.
The three One-Day Internationals will be played on 17th, 19th and 22nd June at the VRA ground with games scheduled to begin at 11 am.
Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (captain), Scott Edwards (wicketkeeper), Musa Nadeem Ahmed, Shariz Ahmad, Logan van Beek, Philippe Boissevain, Tom Cooper, Aryan Dutt, Clayton Floyd, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Ryan Klein, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Tim Pringle, Vikramjit Singh, Shane Snater
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, David Payne, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, David Willey, Luke Wood
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