Dutch North-South series resumes on 28 April
After the successful introduction of the Durant Sports North-South series last season, the KNCB is planning to expand this important initiative in 2012, with the squads involved in three 40-over matches and one Twenty20 game in the course of the season.
The series will begin with a 40-over game at Excelsior’s Thurlede ground on Saturday, 28 April, followed by the T20 fixture at Maarschalkerweerd, Utrecht on Friday, 11 May. The remaining 40-over matches are scheduled for July and September.
The squads for the first two matches have been announced, and include almost all the full Dutch side which recently played in the United Arab Emirates, together with a number of players who are on the fringe of national team selection.
These games, which will all be played on turf pitches, provide an excellent opportunity for emerging players and those in contention for promotion to the full squad to test their mettle in a representative context, and their significance is indicated by the fact that national team coaches Peter Drinnen, Anton Roux and Roland Lefebvre will all be involved in coaching the sides.
In order to maximise participation, the matches will be played on a 12-a-side basis, with eleven players batting and fielding.
Last season’s fixtures were adversely affected by last-minute call-offs – one even had to be cancelled because it was impossible to raise two sides – but it is to be hoped that with an expanded A-team programme and the ongoing discussion about the selection of home-produced talent for the national side, the players will see the series as a real opportunity to stake their claims.
The KNCB has also announced a twelve-man squad to take part in the A-team visit to Wales from 4-7 June, playing two matches against the Cardiff MCCU and one against the Wales under-17 side.
This team, which will be captained by Tim Gruijters, includes two British-based players: Andrew Leering, who first played for the Dutch Lions in 2010 and who has also played for the Glamorgan Academy, and Max O’Dowd.
Holding both New Zealand and Dutch passports, O’Dowd is the son of former Auckland and Northern Districts batsman Alex O’Dowd, who had two spells in the Netherlands in 1991-93 and 1999-2005, playing for HBS Den Haag and HCC and making 4888 runs at an average of 35.17.
O’Dowd junior, who plays for the Takapuna club in the Auckland competition, will be playing club cricket for the Reading club this summer. He played for the Dutch under-12 side while living in the Netherlands in 2005.
The full squads are
South: Atse Buurman (VRA), Wilfred Diepeveen (Voorburg), Tom de Grooth (HCC), Tim Gruijters (Quick Haag), Timm van der Gugten (VOC) Tom Heggelman (Excelsior ’20), Ahsan Malik Jamil (VOC), Geert Maarten Mol (Quick Haag), Stephan Myburgh (Excelsior ’20), Jelte Schoonheim (VOC), Harro Seelaar and Pieter Seelaar (Hermes-DVS). Reserves: James Gruijters and Thijs van Schelven (both Quick Haag)
A team squad to visit Wales: