Dutch women's challenge series to get under way
Another new series will get under way in the Netherlands on Wednesday when two combined sides bringing together players from the full national squad and the development squad will play the first of four matches, a 40-over contest at Kampong’s Maarschalkerweerd ground in Utrecht.
As with the Durant Sports North-South series for the men, the aim of the new competition is to give the leading players more experience at a level above that of club cricket, but in this case the two teams have been chosen to produce a balanced contest, rather than on a regional basis.
As with the men, too, availability has inevitably been an issue, with work commitments, injuries and holidays all taking their toll, to the degree that this first game will be played between sides of ten, with each team providing a substitute fielder for their opponents.
This means that players like former national captain Helmien Rambaldo and other current internationals Carlijn de Groot and Laura Brouwers will be missing on Wednesday, but current skipper Denise Hannema, Esther de Lange and other members of the full side will be taking part.
The teams will be captained by the two Australians, Kampong’s Clare Crewdson and Linsey Da Costa of Ajax Oegstgeest, while Da Costa’s side will also include Crewdson’s Kampong teammate and fellow-Australian Naomi Stalenberg, whose Dutch passport makes her eligible for the Orange Lionesses.
A second 40-over match will be played on Thursday, 12 July, with two Twenty20 games completing the series on Monday, 23 July. All the matches will be played at Maarschalkerweerd.
Announcing the series, KNCB chief executive Richard Cox said that the new series ‘gives our best players a new tier of cricket in which they can play each other on a competitive basis in two forms of the game.
’In addition to this it gives our managers and coaches a chance to see the players in a series of challenges which will help give clarity to selection, retention and development of players for the national teams.
’We have a series of important matches coming up for the A team and national team against the likes of the MCC, the counties, as well as Scotland and Ireland, which are markers in our progress.’
The Lionesses’ next county championship fixture is against Cheshire at Warrington on 15 July, while an MCC women’s team will visit the Netherlands the following week, playing three matches. And on 14-16 August the Dutch will have what is arguably their most important commitment of the summer, the European Women’s Twenty20 championship at Bready in Northern Ireland.
The sides for Wednesday’s game are: