Van der Merwe returns as Netherlands names ICC World Cup squad

The Dutch team celebrating qualification in Zimbabwe in July. Photo: ICC

Roelof van Der Merwe, Colin Ackermann and Paul van Meekeren have been included in the Netherlands’ 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to be held in India in October and November.

Uncapped South Africa-born batter Sybrand Engelbrecht has been rewarded with a first international call-up on the back of a stellar domestic season in which he scored 549 runs, averaging 54.90 and captained his club, Voorburg, to national championship.

Left-arm seamer Fred Klaassen is a notable omission, having failed to recover from a stress fracture while playing for Kent in the English domestic circuit.

“He is moving through his rehab program and there is no ETA on his return to play just yet,” an official from the Kent county cricket club confirmed to DutchNews closer to the squad announcement.

From the World Cup Qualifier squad, Clayton Floyd, Michael Levitt and Vivian Kingma missed the cut, while wicket keeper/batsman Noah Croes and fast bowler Kyle Klein will travel with the squad as developmental players.

Spinners to the fore

In the absence of Klaassen, Van der Merwe will provide the only left-arm option and will lead the spin department alongside off-spinner Aryan Dutt, leg-spinners Shariz Ahmad and Saqib Zulfiqar.

Ackermann is also capable of chipping in with his off-breaks, having once held the record for the best bowling figures of 7-18 in a T20 match for Leicestershire.

Right arm quicks Logan van Beek, Ryan Klein and van Meekeren are the only frontline fast bowling options along with all-rounder Bas de Leede.

Tim Pringle, who was slated to join the pre-World Cup camp, and Glamorgan’s fast
bowler Timm van der Gugten have both picked up a late injury but can still come into consideration as injury replacements pending recovery.

The Netherlands finished at the bottom of the World Cup Super League, but emerged as one of the two qualifying sides, alongside Sri Lanka, from the ten-team World Cu Qualifier held in Zimbabwe last month ahead of the West Indies, Zimbabwe and Scotland.

Semi-final hopes

Scott Edwards will once again captain the team in line to feature in its fifth 50-over
World Cup and first since 2011, also hosted by India. Remarkably, batter Wesley
Barresi is the only player to feature in both squads.

“Any team that is going to the World Cup is looking to make it to the next stage of the World Cup. In this case it is the semi-finals,” head coach Ryan Cook told a press conference on Thursday.

“We will try to win as many games as we can to put ourselves in a position to compete and get into the semi-finals. I believe that’s something we can do and the guys are willing to put the work into getting that outcome.

“We are going to play some good teams and good cricketers over the next two months and we are confident in our preparation.”

Training camp

Recently, a 12-man squad flew out to India for a week-long spin and conditioning camp.

The full squad will assemble in Alur in South India for a preparatory camp from September 19-28 to train and play two 50-over fixtures against Karnataka State side on September 25 and 27.

Netherlands will then move further down south to the coastal town of Trivandrum to play two warm-up matches against Australia (on September 30) and India (on October 3).

The Dutch start their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 6 in Hyderabad.

Squad: Scott Edwards (capt, wk), Colin Ackermann, Shariz Ahmed, Wesley Barresi, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Ryan Klein, Bas de Leede, Paul van Meekeren, Roelof van der Merwe, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Vikram Singh, Saqib Zulfiqar.

Travelling reserves: Noah Croes, Kyle Klein.

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