Home > Netherlands > News: Netherlands lose to Sri lanka again… but give a decent account

News: Netherlands lose to Sri lanka again… but give a decent account

In the 2nd ODI, Sri lanka beat Netherlands by 55 runs. For this game, Sri lanka rested even Lasith Malinga….. and the man who had destroyed Netherlands in the last game, Jayasuriya. However, Sri lanka still got off to a similar start and were around 120/1 in the 15th over. The Dutch fought back well from there to get them down to 278/7 in the 46-47th over, but then managed to give a lot of runs in the last 3 overs to the tail enders and perhaps gave 20 runs too many. This was an ok performance, given that at one point in time 350 looked like a certain score. Reekers (10-0-54-3), de Leede (10-1-50-1) and Borren (10-0-44-1) all bowled very well. But Stelling was the main cause for concern ending up with figures of 10-0-91-2, the 2 wickets coming in consecutive balls, the second one being a first ball duck from Mahela Jayawardena.

Netherlands need to think about this. Stelling is 37 years old and Reekers is 33. I dont know whether they should persist on getting these guys some ‘experience’. However, Reekers has done pretty well as pinch hitter in both ODIs, making 45 (39 balls, 9 4s) today. So he needs to stay, but Netherlands must either find, or give one of their younger pacemen a go.

Netherlands at 97-1 were still in the game, but after that they could not muster together any partnership, except for a lost cause one between Van Troost and Borren for 58 runs. Smits made a brilliant 1 of 3 balls coming at number 10.

So the question now is, if Netherlands were intelligent enough to play Buurman for Smits… and if Ten Doeschate was available (instead of Schwarzinski) and so was Schiferli (instead of Stelling) would this game have been any different?

I think this was a fairly good performance by Netherlands, but I cannot figure out whether this was a better performance or the one by Ireland against England. Scotland’s performance so far has been the best for associate ODIs, and Canada’s the worst.

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Categories: Netherlands
  1. Cuen Lucas
    July 6, 2006 at 11:34 am

    One of the most important things was that the top order were able to get good starts, this was an area that the Netherlands suffered at the ’03 World Cup, and the Netherlands are able to post totals that could be winning ones if they could tighten their bowling.

    As for the bowling, I’d go for swapping Stelling with Grandia, so if Schiferli was fit you’d have Schiferli opening the bowling with Grandia or Reekers and then the other one of those two could come up as first change, yes Grandia can be expensive, but in the light of how the Sri Lankans took to Stelling, it might be a necessary move.

    And I’ll concede that whilst Smits is better with the gloves than Buurman, the modern ODI trend is to pick a keeper that’s a better batsman, so Buurman should be given a chance to prove himself.

    And this might have been a better game than the Ireland/England clash considering where Sri Lanka’s current form compares to that of England.

  2. Ram
    July 6, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    What this ODI along with the first one highlights is the need for Associates to work on two departments, which I think would be the most crucial if they are to come out of next year’s World Cup with credibility..

    First is the necessity to pickup early wickets, otherwise I fear 400+ totals make become commonplace in next year’s tournament given the kind of hitters the Test nations have!

    Second, probably of a slightly lesser weightage is the need to avoid batting collapses..If we look at all the four ODIs involving these 3 Associates in the last month, we can observe that the Associates have clearly lost momentum due to a mid innings collapse that has cost them a good 25-30 runs atleast..Add this figure and we will actually realize that three of these four ODIs would have had close finishes!

    I think Srilanka have done well here in making Netherlands realize what they can expect in next year’s World Cup, especially given that Netherlands and Scotland will be up against the likes of Gilchrist, Ponting, Symonds, Gibbs, Smith and co…Netherlands should use the wisdom gained from these two ODIs and devise strategies, whatever they maybe, to contain their opposition in the World Cup…These 3 Associates have to prove a point in the World Cup; they shouldn’t just be there making up the numbers, for there would already be two other teams doing just that..

  3. July 6, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    Netherlands had 3 bowlers who bowled well today…… Reekers, De Leede and Borren…… but point is that De Leede and Borren are more likely to go for runs like they did in the last game, because essentially, I think, they are batsmen who can bowl a bit……..

    Netherlands actually never had good bowlers, they always had economical medium pacers like Bakker or Lefebvre, even De Leede in his prime. What they need to do is to somehow start on some plan to find good pace bowlers, or to prepare good pace bowlers in the next 2-3 years……….

  4. Ram
    July 6, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Nasir..

    I actually wonder the worth of the Intercontinental Cup for these 3 Associate countries given that they would be almost always playing opposition who are either inferior or at best on par with them..Do you think these Associates are going to show marked improvement even if they get 6-7 ODIs against Test opposition every season apart from the Intercontinental Cup matches?

    I think the cases of Srilanka and Zimbabwe tell us that these 3 Associates need to play against the A sides of Test teams in not only limited overs matches but also 3 or 4 day FC matches..it is these matches that truly elevate the Asssociates into Test nations, as seen from the fact that both SL and Zim got Test status only after they had attained a very good level by playing the A teams/domestic teams of Test playing nations in 3/4-day matches..

    Probably I feel that the ICC should ask these 3 Associates plus Kenya to play against the A teams of Test nations in a series of 3/4 day matches (apart from ODIs of course!) and the Intercontinental Cup can be played by teams ranked 15-24 so that more teams now get the oppurtunity to participate in the multi-day competition against quality opposition..

  5. July 6, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    I think Sri lanka and Zimbabwe were exceptions. They were countries with high standards of play, and hence were an attractive option for counties/domestic teams to tour, or A teams to tour. At the momment, unless Bangladesh A or Zimbabwe A need an outing, I doubt that the other countries would want to send their A team to play either Scotland or Netherlands. Even if they were to come, I doubt that these countries would be able to assmeble their best teams, OR play multi day cricket.

    Regarding the intercontinental cup, I think the games between Ireland Scotland, or Netherlands Kenya should help them out a bit. The rest of the games should help out the lower ranked 4 teams. But intercontinental cup is just skill development. By no means it it going to make the money for the boards, which is so much important in order to raise the standard of the team.

  6. Ram
    July 7, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    Nasir..

    SL and Zim achieved high standards of play only because they regularly got to play first-class matches against the A teams/domestic sides of Test nations in multi-day cricket…Since the Intercontinental Cup isn’t going to be a money-spinner, these teams should use the 6-7 ODIs against the Test nations every season primarily to gain money for the board and exposure for the players, rather than looking to improve their skills..The best way to improve the cricketing standards of the national team would be to play first-class matches against the A teams/domestic sides while the money gained from hosting ODIs should be invested in the grass roots so that the junior level teams are also well off..

    Now..If these 4 Associate teams keep playing against each other in multi-day cricket and let’s say after 3 or 4 years, it becomes evident that one team, say Scotland, is thrashing the other Associates and is clearly better off than the others, what do we do then?…Where would Scotland go?

    About the A teams not willing to tour Ireland, Netherlands or Scotland for tours involving two or three 4-day matches..the ICC should look to make it “mandatory” for the Test nations (as part of their commitment to the development program) to undertake atleast one such tour every year. Additionally, the grants given out to Test nations can be proportionally higher based on the number of such tours these A teams take; this could act as an incentive for these Test nations to contribute more to the development program..

  7. July 7, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Ram,

    Sri lanka and Zimbabwe already had high standards by the turn of 1970. The reason for that was NOT because they had been playing A teams on tours etc. But because of different reasons in both cases. Zimbabwe was I believe a province of South Africa first, and then somehow also ended up being in the South African domestic cricket, for nearly 100 years. Sri lanka was pretty much the same thing as Nepal is today. Lots and Lots of players, but little future or professionalism. The high number of players made Sri lanka a decent side to play with.

    At such a time, when both countries HAD a high standard of play, England started touring Zim, and Indian domestic sides started touring Sri lanka. This was not just to help out a developing nation. This was to imporve and practise their own players, because the standard of play was fairly high in Zim and Sri. Both Zim and Sri improved much furhter afterwards, but still could not match up to the test teams, even after having a test status.

    Nonetheless…. what I am trying to say is that there has to be an incentive for the A teams to come and play Kenya or Scotland. They cannot just keep on doing so because they want to help out with development.

    Regarding the 3-4 day matches, I am not saying that A teams will not want to play them against Scotland. I am saying that Scotland will not be able to play them. Their players wont be able to take 2 days off week after week for 4 day cricket.

    It is hence imperative, that the associates first get this amateur to professional transition done. So that at least their players are available 7 days of the week.

    btw…. which test nations are going ot play 6-7 ODIs against the associates every year? You would find it interesting that only 3 countries, SA, NZ and Pak backed the ICC proposal to give full ODI status to the new nations, and the rest (including Sri and Zim ?!?!) opposed it. A lot of work had to be done to get the majority members on board. One game ‘on the way’ for a full tour is possible, but 6-7 ODIs per year against the big 8 is not.

    Ban and Zim are always available, and these 4 associates should look to play them a lot more. ICC should have managed that process, but they didnt.

  8. Ram
    July 7, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Nasir..

    Yes, but didn’t we agree that these Associates needed 6-7 ODIs every year to professionalize the setup?..Instead of a one-off ODI, these Associates should host a 3 ODI series so that the 6-7 figure can be attained..Also, given that it takes 4 days to play one ODI (including arrival, practice and departure), it shouldn’t be a big scheduling problem to organize 2 more ODIs, which will probably take up another 3-4 days. Also, selling an ODI series would be, I guess, easier than selling a one-off ODI and a 3 ODI series may also make TV companies interested..

    About multi-day cricket, what I’m saying is these Associates, instead of playing the 3 Intercontinental Cup matches can play 3 matches against A teams, apart from Ban and Zim to begin with, and then once professionalized, can look to play as much against A teams as possible..

    My point is there seems to be too wide a gulf between the top 8 Test teams and the Associates and the only way I see these Associates becoming competitive is by regularly playing opposition superior to them but inferior to Test teams…And, ‘A’ teams/domestic sides are the ones that fit into this category..why I say multi-day cricket is because the scope for skill improvement from playing a 3-4 day game is arguably much more than playing a couple of ODIs, where the intensity is probably too high and the mindset being more about not getting thrashed than being competitive..

  9. July 7, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    They need 6-7 ODIs that they can sell. I keep on wondering whether Ireland would be able to sell ODIs v Scotland in the same way that they can against say…. Sri lanka? England is a different league altogether, and I dont think that any other country, except for Australia can match their appeal in the European countries, but would Scotland also be able to sell out the crowd against Banalgesh?

    If the answer to the above questions is true, then the associates need to look into organizing more of these games, regularly. If they are not regular, then 1) crowd would lose interest because there would be nothing to look forward to in the near future, and also because the sponsors etc will not be interested because the oppurtunities are too sparse.

    The thing about A teams, Scotland may be able to get some crowd in against Ireland, but it would be more than what they can against A team from say NZ. Kenya btw, have been playing A teams even in the period in which they didnt play any ODIs, that is before 2006….. I think Srilanka A visited them and also Pakistan A.

    I do agree that A team tours are very important, and so are the tours by domestic teams. But one has to understand that if the team is very weak, like Canada, no test country would want to send their A team over there regularly, becuase it would be taken as a waste of time. Plus the boards also have to wonder about injuries etc. If the only purpose of sending the team is to participate in the global development, then any injury sustained during the match, which may be a career threatening one as well, is also not appreciated. Plus you have to add the fatigue factor of the A team players as well. Plus, lets say Taufeeq Umar from Pakistan scores a double centruy in a 3 day game against Canada….. would that prompt the board to draft him into the national team, which is basically what the A team is used for?

    Its because of all these reasons that I dont think that A team tours are sustainable if the country does not provide a strong opposition.

    But you can see that in my blog “Why associate countries are weak”, the top point was that the team needs to play stronger opposition regularly. Ireland may not provide Scotland with the strongest opposition, but at least it would be a stronger opposition than the one that Scotland A can provide them, so it is still a step in the right direction, albiet a small one.

  10. Ram
    July 7, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    Nasir..

    I would like to make a few points here:

    1. I only included the 3 European Associates+Kenya in the list, not ICC’s friends in Canada/USA/Bermuda 🙂 …We all know that Canada playing an India A or Pakistan A team is a waste of time.

    2. I mentioned multi-day games against A teams only in the context of improving the cricketing standards, not for commercial reasons..All I want is the A team of a Test nation to tour ONE of these countries and play a couple of 4-day games apart from maybe a couple of ODIs per year..Also, I’m not sure if player workload is an issue here because I hardly see any A team playing round the year..

    3. The point about injuries I feel depends on how the Test board views such tours..If it thinks that their A team can learn from playing in alien conditions against reasonably good opposition, it’ll try and send a strong team..else, am fine even if it sends a B team comprising of players who are either veterans in the domestic league or aren’t good enough to make the A team…Since an A team is of superior standard compared to a domestic team, I would like to believe that this B team would be as strong as any domestic side, if not stronger and one that is certainly capable of giving these Associates a tough time in a 3/4 day game..

    4. Well..whether Scotland/Ireland can sellout against Bangladesh/Zim is a million dollar question..Even I’ve my own doubts though I think 1500-2000 may not be a bad guess.

    5. I see tremendous benefits in a 3 ODI series as against a one-off ODI. Now, if Scotland were to host a 3-ODI series against India, instead of the one-off ODI they will get next year, am sure TV companies would be interested and once Indian TV companies are involved, Cricket Scotland will make money unheard of in Associate cricket!..You could say the same about Irish cricket. As for Netherlands, I tend to get the feeling that they can bring in thousands only against England because of their very limited spectator following..I doubt if even Australia would bring in more than 1500-2000 people! By the looks of it, the only way for KNCB to make money is either by hosting England in a one-off ODI, if not a 3 ODI series or by hosting India in a 3-ODI series.

  11. July 9, 2006 at 12:48 am

    Ram,

    One thing to keep in mind is that Scotland was originally supposed to have a 2 match ODI series against Pakistan this year, but it was cut down to the one off ODI because Cricket Scotland could not bear the cost of keeping the Pakistan team in the 5 star hotel etc for the 3-4 extra days. So a lot of it is about money. Scotland would not mind playing a 3 match ODI series, but they would want to be able to finance the tour, which they cannot at the momment. ICC only pays for the air tickets for the teams, not for the stay or other hospitality stuff. If other countries would want to host Scotland, that can be done, especially by India who have a billion dollars, but they would not want to, because they will not be able to sell the game either to the TV sponsors, or to the ticketing public.

    Bangladesh and Zimbabwe can host these countries, but Ireland and Scotland dont want to play Zimbabwe because of political reasons (perhaps Netherlands will follow suit), and Bangladesh may not want to host them because they dont want criticism in case the they lose or the game is a very tight one.

    The reason why I mentioned that Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands should host Zim or Bangladesh is because given their open schedules, Ban and Zim may even compromise and either share the cost of the tour, or perhaps agree to stay in a 4 star hotel, or help out in some other way.

    I have a comment regarding Netherlands/Zimbabwe comparison. it appears to me that Netherlands is looking more and more like the Zimbabwe team from the 80s and 90s. Low playing numbers, hardly any interest in the crowd, but the team is of a reasonable standard becuase of top class faciltiies and good structure. With only 100K whites, and only 16K total men between the age of 15-35, I cannot imagine Zimbabwe having too many more registered cricketers in the 80s than the 4-5K number that Netherlands has at the momment.

  12. Ram
    July 9, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Nasir,

    I have a few doubts here..

    1. How come KNCB managed to host SL for a 2-match ODI series when Cricket Scotland couldn’t?

    2. Though it’s the ICC that organized these games, aren’t the airfares taken care of by the Test board? It sounds strange that the Test board can pay for their team’s trip to England but not to Scotland!..And, if I am right, the trip from Scotland to England is going to cost a relatively insignificant amount for the board.

    3. In case of India, am sure that if they can help out the WICB, they can do the same to Scottish cricket…even if the BCCI doesn’t want to spend a pie on Scottish cricket, it can always share the expenses for a 3-ODI series and allow Cricket Scotland to pay back the money to the BCCI from their share of the profits. Infact, the commercial benefits from hosting India in a 3-ODI series are just too high that Cricket Scotland can even look at borrowing loans in the worst case scenario.

    4. I will comment on the Netherlands-Zimbabwe comparison in a separate post, otherwise this post may become too long 🙂

  13. July 9, 2006 at 1:37 am

    Ram,

    Answering your first point….. I dont know….. I guess KNCB is richer than Cricket Scotland 🙂

    But its definitely a fact that Cricket Scotland had to cancel the second pakistan ODI because of financial issues.

  14. Ram
    July 9, 2006 at 1:46 am

    About the Netherlands-Zimbabwe comparison, I agree on the numbers you point out but I do see some obvious differences in the two scenarios.

    Cricket in Zim was restricted to the whites, with little interest/ following among the blacks; somewhat similar to the expat situation though not as bad. But in case of Netherlands, the limited following seems to be because of a lack of strong cricketing history. In case of Zimbabwe, cricket used to attract crowds as high as 25,000 in the 1950s when the game was really popular there as part of SA but it gradually declined in popularity. It is in this context I would like to know whether the crowd that turned up for the 2 ODIs against SL were the biggest in Dutch cricketing history or whether Dutch cricket has seen bigger crowds before. One gets the feeling that most of the few hundred spectators who turned up were relatives/ friends of the Dutch cricketers/ KNCB officials given that a significant portion of the crowd was surprisingly made of Srilankan fans..

    The lack of public visibility for the game in Netherlands seems to stem from lack of exposure, as against Scotland, Ireland, Nepal, Bangladesh who have always got access to top quality cricket on their TV sets. An article on the CricketEurope website on the 2nd ODI had an interesting point: Most of the Dutch fans who had come out to support their national team had got exposure to the game, not through their media but through BBC, which till a few years back, used to telecast Test cricket on its prime terrestrial channel that was beamed all across Europe!..Infact, in that article, the author himself has said that this is one of the reasons why he thought English cricket should be available on free-on-air television. This shows the power of TV in the modern-day world!

    There’s also a significant difference between the Dutch and the Zimbabwean economies. Once people start following the game, converting that interest into money should be a much easier effort for the KNCB, compared to Zimbabwe or Kenya..However, making people to take up the game by giving the right exposure remains the challenge since cricket isn’t even among the top 25 Dutch sports..

  15. July 9, 2006 at 2:47 am

    Free Cricket on Air is a no brainer, and the easiest and cheapest way for the ICC to attract a lot of attention for the sport in associate countries. I know that the ICC cannot make the whole thing free because USA, Canada etc are money earners for them because of expats (though its foolish to bank on the 10K or so expat viewers when your big picture has the 300 million americans or 30 million canadians on it). But at least they can, as part of their high performance program, or as part of some other program, designate Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark etc as potential markets where cricket should be shown free to air for 5 years as a start.

    ECBTv, I thought, was going to do this, but that too turned out to be a pay per view service. Pay per view service is not for expansion, it is for fleecing already cricket crazy followers like me 🙂

  16. Ram
    July 9, 2006 at 5:23 am

    Nasir..

    Coming to TV, the incoming ICC President said that after India, the country with the highest viewership for cricket was USA and so the ICC was going to concentrate on getting USA into the cricketing fold…Maybe we should stop purchasing this pay-per-view package so that the American viewership reduces and the ICC starts looking at countries like Japan, Greece and Argentina.. 🙂

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