The KNCB (Netherlands Cricket Board) has announced the roster for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which will take place next month. Because of the tournament’s conflict with the T20 Blast, the majority of the Dutch contingent hired by the counties will not be traveling there. The majority of the squad for the Dutch team, captained by goalkeeper Scott Edwards, is made up of players who compete in the native Topklasse league.
Logan van Beek of Wellington will re-join the team, while Bas de Leede of Durham will also go to Zimbabwe, though it is believed he will only stay with the team for as long as the Dutch are still in the running for qualification. Tom Cooper is also rumored to be unavailable, along with Colin Ackermann, Roelof van der Merwe, Fred Klaassen, Paul van Meekeren, Shane Snater, Timm van der Gugten, and Brandon Glover.
The opportunities for young players that were imposed by absences were encouraging to High Performance Manager Roland Lefebvre. It is a well-balanced team that just finished a highly successful T20 World Cup in Australia and two intense Super League matches against South Africa and Zimbabwe. A number of young players have been able to join the squad due to the absence of some of our more seasoned County players, and we anticipate seeing them perform at the top level.
Michael Levitt, a South African-Dutch youth who has started the batting for Voorburg CC this season, is set to make his debut, giving the top of the order another option in addition to veteran openers Max O’Dowd and Vikram Singh. As a backup keeper, Levitt’s Voorburg teammate Noah Croes has also been called up. The Dutch will not lack for keeping reserves because veteran Wesley Barresi and just qualified Teja Nidamanuru both still have spots in the team. However, Barresi is more likely to play as a specialized bat.
Tim Pringle, a left arm spinner for Northern Districts, is sidelined, therefore fellow southpaw Clayton Floyd is chosen over Daniel Doram, a left arm spinner for Sint Maarten and the Leeward Islands, who hasn’t trained with the team since 2013. Floyd will be vying for a spot in the slow bowling competition alongside wristspinner Shariz Ahmed and offie Aryan Dutt. The two young players impressed during the Netherlands’ Super League campaign, which was also hampered by availability concerns. Saqib Zulfiqar, a leg-spinning all-rounder, is back with the team even though his triplet siblings Sikander and Asad were not included in the 15-man roster.
Ross ter Braak, a left-arm seamer who had been practicing with the team recently and had raised the possibility that he would put on Orange like his brother Dan, is also missing. Thus, the seam section will be fully made up of right-armers, with van Beek, de Leede, Vivian Kingma, Ryan Klein, and Singh all making the cut as well. Singh and Levitt are also pace alternatives.
Ryan Cook, the team’s head coach, returns from his IPL responsibilities to lead the team. He will once again be assisted by fellow Gary Kirsten Academy alumnus Ryan van Niekerk and former South Africa international Heino Kuhn, who has spent this season stationed in the Netherlands with previous club Amsterdamsche CC.
In two weeks, the team will fly to Harare after stopping in Pretoria for a practice match against Scotland and Nepal. The Netherlands are in Group A with top seeds West Indies, Zimbabwe, Nepal, and the United States, while Sri Lanka is in Group B with Ireland, Scotland, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. The top three teams from each group advance to the Super Sixes to compete for the two available World Cup spots.
After a recent three-game series in Zimbabwe, Edwards said, “We have been very deliberate in our preparation for the qualifications, and we are sure that the squad we have chosen can play a kind of cricket that can be successful in these circumstances. We have an interesting combination of young and seasoned players who have excelled in the domestic Pro Series and club season building up to this tournament.
Max O’Dowd, Vikramjit Singh, Michael Levitt, Wesley Barresi, Bas de Leede, Noah Croes, Teja Nidamanuru, Shariz Ahmed, Saqib Zulfiqar, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Clayton Floyd, Ryan Klein, and Vivian Kingma make up the Netherlands squad. Scott Edwards serves as captain.