Tonight doesn't feel like an upset: Borren
Peter Borren’s Netherlands wanted a big scalp, and the team got it before leaving Bangladesh and the ICC World Twenty20 2014. It was England, who had stumbled against the Netherlands at Lord’s in 2009, who was cut down once more, bowled out for only 88 in pursuit of 134.
Borren was suitably pumped after the win. “We recognise the fact we were representing Associates here. We had to work bloody hard to get here to become the representative of Associate cricket,” said Borren. “And we knew we had to take that role seriously because there were plenty of competitive Associate teams who didn't make it.”
While the 2009 win was an inspiration to his team, the 2014 version was bigger, a thumping 45-run triumph. “In 2009 it was a big shock but if you look at all our cricket here we played, I don't feel tonight feels like an upset. It was, of course, an upset, but if you watched all our cricket then you would have thought we'd beat someone so it's not a big surprise,” said Borren. “When you win by 45 runs in a Twenty20, wasn't really close was it? But we didn't take anything for granted until the fall of that last wicket. It's not a huge run around and rip your shirt off moment like 2009, when we won off the last ball but this one's very, very satisfying and exhilarating I guess.”
While Borren was not surprised at how his team performed, the manner in which England’s batsmen got themselves out left a few people scratching their heads. “Each batsman got himself in and the first time they tried to play a shot they were out,” said Borren. “People say why didn't they play more shots, well everytime they did, they managed to get out. You have to have some luck for that to happen but credit to our bowlers as well.”
The hero of the day, Mudassar Bukhari, who picked up 3 for 12 from 3.4 overs, was someone who only became a full-time cricketer in 2011. Up until then, Bukhari had to juggle playing and training with his job as assistant manager of the Burger King outlet at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. “Now I'm one of the full-time contracted players and since that job, I haven't done anything else full-time, I've been playing cricket for the Netherlands,” said Bukhari. “This is my full-time job now. I don't know how long for, with what's going on but hopefully we can get some fixtures to play because this sure beats flipping burgers. It's much better than that, I can tell you that."
The situation Bukhari was referring to was the Netherlands’ recent loss of ODI status after it finished seventh in an ICC qualifying competition. “We have a sponsor in ABN-AMRO and the ICC Associate high performance programme, so long may that funding continue, because at the moment we don't know where it's going for Dutch cricket,” said Borren. “We've got nothing this summer, not one fixture, so this will be a nice one to finish on for a while. Hopefully it is sorted out because we're very proud of our effort here."
Not only does the Netherlands not have international fixtures to look forward to, its association with the England and Wales Cricket Board, which allowed the side to play in the domestic limited-overs competition has been discontinued. “As well as getting players on contracts and sponsorship the biggest thing for us has been playing cricket in the 40-over competition for the last four years. It was regular, 12 matches over the summer, and we're very proud of our record in that competition,” said Borren. “We won plenty of games and that's really helped develop Dutch cricket. It's a real shame it's not continuing but at the same time we very much appreciate what the ECB did for us. We can't slate them because they've given us four years of fantastic competition. But it's pretty disappointing not being involved in that competition. It's super bad for us.”