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Opinion: Dutch governing body set medium term goals

The Dutch governing body recently met and voted for some changes in their organziational structure. The 4 important things that I saw were 1) To increase public participation by 20% in the 3 years 2) to improve club structure 3) to get additional sponsorship worth 150K pounds and 4) to maintain Netherlands standing in the top 16 countries in the world (basically meaning to finish in the top 6 again in the ICC trophy 2009) 

First of all, I am gald that they recognized that there is a sharp decline in the interest levels since the 80s. I have mentioned before that Netherlands ONLY lacks public backing and playing numbers. Everything else is in place, primarily because their strucutre has been around for more than a 100 years. Secondly, I am glad that they recognize that there is a threat of being overtaken by countries like Nepal and Uganda in the overall standing of Dutch cricket on the world stage. This will make them work harder in order to improve their development process.

Now, the issues I see with their approach. First of all, 20% increase in 3 years is nothing. They have a registered number of around 5K cricketers (senior, junior and even kanga cricket ones). So increasing this number from 5000 to 6000 in 3 years is nothing. We are talking about other countries going upwards of 10-15 K in the next 3-4 years, Dutch cricket will be left behind if only patronized by 6K players in a country of 16 million. Secondly, it was not mentioned exactly what they are going to do with the club structure to make it ‘healthier’. Are they going to allow more coaches into the Hoofdklasse, are they going to reduce the number of teams? Are they going to put a check that the Hoofdklasse must have at least 1 club each from the 4 mains cricketing cities? (currently Uterecht has 2 clubs in Esteklasse, but none in Hoofdklasse), or are they going to ensure that there is some citizenship requirement for the players in the club??

Finally, the 150K pound sponsorship. Is that a number for the whole sponsorship period? Or is that a number that they are driving towards on a per year basis? In either case, given the amount of money that Ireland and Scotland are pumping into their systems, and given the amount of money the ICC grants translate into Kenya or Ugandan shillings, 150K pounds total sponsorship for a 2-3 year period sounds like peanuts, and they will have to do more. Increasing the public participation would be one way to attracting sponsors, and getting a regular calender worked out for the Dutch team (so that a steady flow of matches and exposure is there for the news) are 2 ways in which they can move forward.

Categories: Netherlands
  1. Cuen Lucas
    June 29, 2006 at 10:31 am

    Nasir, I think we’ll find out in September when the special general meeting is held as to as to how the working group aims to improve the Hoofdklasse. As for the funding and 20% increase in participation, I can only hope that these are MINIMUM targets, because as you noted, neither is particularly impressive in when in comparison with other associates on the same level.

    I agree with you that it’s good that the KNCB have recognised that interest has declined and that they are looking at ways to reverse that, and I’m also happy too see that they are looking to modernize the administrative side of things, to keep pace with the way that cricket is developing.

    I think that the upcoming ODI’s with Sri Lanka and will play a role in attracting people to cricket, then the KNCB could use any media attraction that those games generate, to take advantage of the fact that the Netherlands is competing in their second consecutive World Cup.

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