The Dutch squad for the important ICC Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League Championship matches in Namibia next month has been announced.
Daan van Bunge, the Excelsior 20 batsman and occasional leg break bowler perhaps unfortunately best remembered for being clobbered for six sixes in an over by Herschelle Gibbs in St. Kitts in 2007 (so I won’t mention it here) is now back in the Dutch squad for major competitive matches for the first time for three years. The 30 year old, unquestionably the best Dutch-born batsman of his particular generation, had stopped playing for the national team in 2010 to concentrate on his study to be a PE teacher. He did reappear for one CB40 match in 2012 and then toured the UAE and India with the extended squad late last year. He will in the future try to combine the demands of completing his studies with commitment to the Dutch team – good news indeed.
Van Bunge first played for the Netherlands more than a decade ago and exactly ten years ago first came to the attention of the international cricket world with 62 against India and 3 for 16 against England, both in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. He is also remembered for scoring a century in 38 balls for the MCC Young Cricketers. His batting is certainly his main suit but can still be effective as a leg spinner.
Two completely new faces, for ICup and WCL matches in any case, are the 20 year old all rounder Paul van Meekeren, who made such a good impression as opening bowler in the three matches against England Performance Squad in India, and the 21 year old slow left arm/chinaman bowler Michael Rippon. Van Meekeren is the first of the new crop of Dutch youngsters, a number of whom were on the recent trip to the UAE and India, to make the grade. Rippon was born in Cape Town and has played for Western Province in South Africa and Sussex in England, where he is based for the coming season.
The three Australians and one South African who have been a feature of Dutch squads in recent years – Tom Cooper, Michael Swart, and more recently Timm van der Gugten and Stephan Myburgh - are all once again available but the two Dutch-qualified players with abundant English county cricket experience – Ryan ten Doeschate and Alexei Kervezee are both missing.
The squad flies out at the end of the month for a training period in Pretoria (April 1 to 7) at the High Performance Centre there. A four-day match in the Intercontinental Cup against Namibia follows in Windhoek (April 11-14) and then the all-important two one-day matches as part of the World Cricket League Championship on April 16 and 18. These are must-win games for the Netherlands, who stand fourth in the league at present with five wins in eight matches. Only the top two places in this league guarantee automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup.
The tour will be completed by a quadrangular T20 tournament with Namibia, Kenya and a CSA Emerging Team from April 20 to 24.
The full squad of 14 is:
The support staff accompanying national coach Peter Drinnen will be assistant coach and analyst Anton Roux, fitness coach Atse Buurman, physiotherapist Jan Stappenbelt and manager Ed van Nierop.