Netherlands head coach Ryan Campbell vehemently believes his team is likely to upset many big teams in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup to be played in the sub-continent later this year. Netherlands, who will play an extra round, are placed in the same group as Bangladesh, Namibia and Scotland.
The Dutch, led by Pieter Seelaar, registered impressive performances in the Qualifiers for the 2021 WT20 that were held in 2019 and emerged as champions of the tournament after their seven-wicket triumph in the finals over Papua New Guinea to qualify for the global extravaganza. Having last featured in the main stages of WT20 back in 2014, Netherlands, this time around, have been placed alongside Bangladesh, Scotland and Namibia in the first round of the competition.
They might be a young and inexperienced side, but former Australia wicket-keeper Ryan Campbell, who is the head coach of the Dutch national cricket team, has complete faith in his team and expects them to upset many teams in the World T20. Famously, Netherlands beat England in the 2014 edition, in which they made the second round.
“I would love to see us do really well at this year’s World Cup. I think we have a really exciting team that can upset a lot of teams. I also want us to play well enough in the Super League competition to earn our place in the next Super League competition. This would give our youngsters the best chance of being full-time cricketers and really reach their potential,” Campbell was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
But despite making significant strides as a cricketing nation across the past decade, 2011 remains the last time the Dutch appeared in the 50-over World Cup. The Netherlands are one of many nations affected by the ICC’s decision to reduce the number of teams in the World Cup, and while the ICC’s decision to increase the number of teams to 14 starting from the 2027 comes as good news for Netherlands, they still have to wait six more years to partake in the event. Campbell voiced his frustration over ICC neglecting the associates for an entire decade.
“In my opinion, World Cups need to be a showcase of our great game, not of how elitist it is. The 50-over World Cup, in particular, being reduced to 10 teams crushed all of the improvement that countries ranked 13-18 had made in closing the gap with the big teams. World Cups always give the country something to work towards.”
Netherlands are currently taking on Ireland in a three-match ODI series part of the Super League, and the series provides an opportunity for the not-so-cricket-loving general public to catch a glimpse of the national team. Campbell believes that more exposure will bring drastic changes to Dutch cricket as it could potentially inspire youngsters to take up the sport.
“Giving local kids a chance to watch cricket on TV is massive. I’m pretty sure we all started playing a sport because we saw it on TV. The series between us and Ireland is the first time the Dutch public has had a chance to see their team play. After winning game one, the interest from people, sponsors and the like has gone through the roof.” the 49-year-old said.