Home > Netherlands > Opinion: Rod Lyall’s 10 point plan for Dutch Cricket…..

Opinion: Rod Lyall’s 10 point plan for Dutch Cricket…..

Rod Lyall has recently written a ten point plan for the KNCB to consider in taking Dutch cricket forward. Generally, he mentioned the points that most of the readers of this forum are pretty familiar with, but he missed one key point. Perhaps in his opinion it is not important, but I think it is. That is playing numbers. Netherlands currently have about 5K registered cricketers total, 1500 of whom are junior cricketers. Netherlands must take this number higher, and introduce the game to at least 2K kids every year under the age of 10. 2K kids a year means holding an introdcutory clinic for at least 40 kids per week. That should be a doable target. If the KNCB was to just ask the clubs in Hoofdklasse and Earsteklasse to hold 1 session in their town every 2 months, they should be able to achieve this target. 2K per year would mean that they can have 10K new entrants, or potential followers of the game in 5 years time, and their total playing numbers would be upward of 10K in that timeframe.

He has talked about a regular calender for A team, for the national team against A teams of test countries, grass wickets in cluibs in addition to VOC and VRA. All of these are valid points. The matting wickets that they use also seem to be responsible for the lack of quality pace bowlers in Netherlands according to Rod.

Regarding the Regional matches that he menions, if you look at the hoofdklasse standings, they are somewhat regionally based anyway…. VRA Amsterdam is on top, VOC Rotterdam second, and Haagshe CC (based in Den Haag) is third. These are the 3 main centers of cricket in Netherlands. One would expect that the best players in these regions would be playing for one of these clubs, so it sort of makes it into a regional tournament. The regional matches he mentions were to give top class games to the best 30-40 players in the country. I was thinking that in order to do that, it may be better to hold an annual triangular tournament, double league if possible, between Netherlands, Netherlands A, and Netherlands B. This can be a multi day tournament if possible. Perhaps this is a better way of getting their top players some good competition. Regional teams in netherlands are not going to become commercial brands in the near future anyway.

One thing that Netherlands can also do, during the course of the Cricket season, is to have a 5 match series between the professional coaches at the hoofdklasse clubs and Netherlands team. The professional coaches in hoofdklasse are all people who are hired to play cricket in there to raise the standard. These guys are in Netherlands for 4 months and essentially play only a weekend match. Since they are there, KNCB should form a coaches team and get the Netherlands team to play them regularly, because the Netherlands team will get a good outing against a higher class opposition (it takes only a glance at the Hoofdklasse stats to see that the coaches team will probably be stronger than Netherlands).

Categories: Netherlands
  1. rego
    September 7, 2006 at 1:16 am

    All very valid points. One thing I don’t understand is that with the formation of the EU, and the opening up of borders between the EU countries, and Schengen visas, why countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands A, and even Denmark don’t play much more regularly! The French team should be playing Belgium, Austria, Germany, and Netherlands A every month. why isn’t this happening?

  2. September 7, 2006 at 1:25 am

    Distances my friend…….. it is not possible for everyone to make overnight trips, because the hotel rooms cost as well……. and we are talking about associate countries that get only $50K per year from the ICC……… also lack of interest………… and the standard being so low that they probably thin they need to work on other things first…………….

    Except for Netherlands and Denmark ……. ECB should incorporate them in the county season like they are doing with Ireland and Scotland……………. this seems to be the only way forward for Dutch cricket……….. 9 solid games against county opposition every year………. England has to realize that Netherlands cant come to play in Pakistan, or Sri lanka…………. it would have to be England……………

    Denmark should make it a point that they visit all of Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands at least once a year for 50 over games………….. in addition to that they should also visit England to play second XI county teams……….

    I think if these 2 things were to happen (Netherlands in English County Season, and Denmark making the 4 tours every year), cricket in all the 4 top European associates would be on the right track for improvement……

    Italy is quite big btw……. and its far away from the other countries you mentioned…………. its not a 3-4 hour drive !

  3. rego
    September 7, 2006 at 5:52 am

    haha yeah.. i was being loosely general..even so..I think countries like france, belgium, germany and austria should be able to hold tournaments separate from the ECC tournaments..something like twice a year or something. They don’t have to pay plane fees. They can stay in guest houses etc. and plus they can find sponsors. Isn’t the Danish club, Husum located somewhere near Germany or smth?..they should be playing more against each other. They should also look at a sort of inter-country club championship or smth. the ECC should be using the advantages of the EU in some ways at least. Denmark and Netherlands should certainly be playing in the English one day championship. Why doesn’t the Belgian team or German team play in the hookedklasse or smth? Is something like that possible?

  4. Ram
    September 7, 2006 at 6:53 am

    I must accept that Netherlands’ is a strange situation…Hardly any public following and hence modest playing numbers…yet high standard, ever improving, totally indigenous national and age group teams…Of course the question of high playing standards despite moderate playing numbers is applicable for the other two European Associates as well….I think this is because in the absence of development programs all these years, the existing players have played consistently among themselves in the Hoofdklasse thereby raising the standards…Infact, it’s surprising to see how they’ve progressed despite these limitations and not go backwards like what Denmark have managed…

    As I see it, the biggest issue facing Dutch cricket is lack of public support….I think this goes beyond just increasing the playing numbers by introducing coaching sessions…The KNCB should also look at marketing and PR seriously….they cannot afford hosting ODIs in which attendances barely touch four figures and which hardly make money for them….they’ve to look at bringing in crowds of the order of 3-4K atleast to ensure some media coverage which can help popularize the game….

  5. Cuen Lucas
    September 7, 2006 at 9:37 am

    Absolutely Ram…

    Rod’s plan is good, but seems to deal only with the level of Hoofdklasse and above. The problem is that (in my opinion anyway) the Hoofdklasse is only a means through which players go from domestic to international cricket, so improvements here will help raise the standard, BUT one has to find ways of increasing the talent pool going into the domestic structure to really get the most out of the improvements. The KNCB should look at a schools or some other junior program first, then whilst the youngsters are progressing through the ranks, the KNCB shuold start making improvements to the domestic and international structures.

  6. September 7, 2006 at 10:38 am

    Rego……. Belgium and France may be better off playing in the Kent Club Cricket League…… yes the standard is lower than the county second XIs, but I think it would be high enough for France and Belgium………. also the distances are very little………

    Denmark is too weak to be incorporated in English county…… I think the best way forward is to incorporate only Netherlands, and get Denmark to play regularly on a yearly basis against Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and some County 2nds………. also, these 4 countries should also look to use the warm up month that counties always undertake…….. counties may prefer to play Netherlands instead of clubs in India or South Africa, or UAE for that matter, because the standard is probably higher of the Dutch team, and also the conditions are similar, and travel time is less………

    Ram…… Reekers, Stelling, Ten Doeschate and Borren are all imports or expats…………… Stelling may not be in the team anymore after Schiferli returns, but the other 3 would be going to the world cup………… but still, Netherlands does amazingly well given their playing numbers…….. Like other European countries, Pakistani expats who only have street cricket experience in Pakistan cannot make it to the National team because they are lower in standard than the player who are coming through the Dutch age level systems………… VVV Amsterdam is a totally Pakistani club that plays in the Hoofdklasse, and they nearly got relegated this year…………

    btw, there are 35K Pakistani expats living in Netherlands as of today……. thats a huge number if you think about it………………….

  7. Bruce Gaskell
    September 7, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    I think getting Holland to play continental opponents like Germany more often is feasible but a non starter. To start with Holland is so much better. And German Cricket? Sounds like Mexican ice hockey to me.

    I’m surprised that youth cricket wasn’t mentioned as you guys seem to suggest. This really is an oversight. Surely even getting all the (sixty or so?) Dutch clubs to support 2 or 3 schools each would be a start, and of limited expense if a few adults would give a few hours a week. Maybe not all schools would be receptive, but I’m sure you could find a significant minority who were.

    BTW Nasir, where is Ten Doeschate from? I was following his scores for Essex and am dissapointed to hear he is not a born and bred Dutchman ):!

  8. September 7, 2006 at 1:58 pm

    Ten Doeschate is South African…… he is Dutch by decent….. I dont know how the citizenship thingy works in Netherlands for the foreign born Dutch people……….. perhaps he is naturalized citizen, or maybe he is deemed national, but he is definitely not a product of dutch system, and doesnt even play in the Hoofdklasse………………

    yes….. getting Holland to play Germany is pointless……. Germany first needs to get some people playing the game………..

  9. dr gul khan
    September 8, 2006 at 4:07 am

    Ten Doeschate has Dutch passport like many white south africans who have european passports as a back up plain!

  10. September 8, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    How does he get a Dutch passport? Do people with Dutch origin have to get naturalized as citizens like other folks, or is there some special category for them to automatically get the Dutch passport?

    I know that kids born outside of Pakistan, but with a father or mother having been a Pakistani citizen, have a Pakistani origin card, which makes them eligible for a Pakistani passport whenever they need to. Something similar in the Netherlands/South Africa case?

  11. September 11, 2006 at 12:03 am

    I think that playing numbers, or in other words, trying to increase the talent pool at the junior level, i.e. the U13 level and above, is what lacks the most in Dutch cricket………… they are teaching their players very well, but there is only so much that a player will improve if the natural talent is lacking………… In coming years, perhaps we can look at the Dutch age level teams, and see if they are falling apart or beaten the likes of Ireland and Scotland in age levels……………… once that starts happenning, and starts happenning with a margin, the rest of the Netherlands senior side strucutre is good enough to improve them into better cricketers………..

    On matting wickets vs grass……. how is it that Pakistan produces excellent pace bowlers with the age level kids playing mostly in unpaved streets? The guy Anwar Ali who destroyed India U19 in the final of the WC had not played on a full ground, nor with a cricket ball, until 9 months before the U19 WC 2006. Moving to grass wickets is definitely good, but I think Netherlands can even do with the existing senior side calender, existing Hoofdklasse strucutre, existing matting wickets in some clubs, if they are able to get 2-3K new kids into the game every year.

  12. Cuen Lucas
    September 11, 2006 at 8:02 am

    I don’t think that the Dutch have the luxury of waiting to see how their various age groups are faring against the other top European associates, Ireland have more than demonstrated their intentions with their recent clean sweep of the European championships and are employing development officers now as well. The KNCB have to start getting pro-active when it comes to getting a widespread junior or shcools program or face the risk of being ousted from the top two European Associates. As Nasir said, the Dutch are highly capable of nurturing talent, but it’s clear that they must start upping their junior numbers to take full advantage of that.

  13. Ram
    September 11, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Nasir, I think it may be unfair to compare the standard of street cricket in a country like Pakistan to a country like Netherlands…First of all, the level of interest in the game is several times higher in Pakistan, which means the average street cricketer in Pakistan is likely to play the game more seriously than in Netherlands where a kid may play the game more out of fun….A Pakistani may want to get recognition as a cricketer by making it big, a Dutch player may not…In other words, the motivation levels to play the game seriously in Pakistan would be much higher compared to Netherlands….Of course, cultural differences mean natural talent may vary from one country to another but it remains to be seen how talented the Dutch can be once they start taking to cricket big time….

    I think Netherlands shouldn’t be treated on par with the other two European Associates who are probably ahead in the race….Netherlands somehow need to increase public awareness in the game not only by hosting high profile games but also by running good development programs so that the playing numbers remain healthy…In this regard, strong performances in next year’s WC coupled with good marketing strategies can greatly help the cause….

  14. September 12, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    As an alternative, what Bruce is mentioning is a good move forward as well…….. get every club in the KNCB league, there are 60 of them, to hold ONLY 1 introductory level session for about 100 new kids EVERY YEAR…….. that should introduce the sport to at least 6000 kids in Netherlands on a yearly basis, and would be a very good progress, with acceptability going up in the future years…………..

    KNCB can follow up, and hold intermediate and advanced level clinics on a monthly, or bi monthly basis, so that those who were introduced to the game and liked it can be taken forward, perhaps to develop their skills enough to get them to contact a club……………..

    Ram, I think the World Cup is unlikely to create ‘mass’ interest in Netherlands…….. it is most probably going to be blacked out anyway…….

    And Ram, I was talking about the relative importance of infrastrucutre over just raw talent coming from playing numbers………. of course a Pakistani kid is much highly motivated to play, and practices at least 2-3 hours per day if he is even mediocre in it…… plus there is a game going on at every corner within a couple of blocks from his house usually, so it is very accessable to go and play cricket……………

    Has anyone else thought that a the problems of Netherlands and Nepal are the exact opposite of each other :):) If they were combined, it would have all the ingredients for a good test team 🙂

  15. Cuen Lucas
    September 12, 2006 at 4:59 pm

    The Nepalands? 🙂

    I like your ideas Nasir, it’s always important to conduct a good follow-up on any introductory program, and your intermediate and advanced clinics would be good for allowing those who were interested a chance to further their interest and abilities. This increases the chances of sustaining interest in the long run.

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