Where do Netherlands go from here?
The Dutch had a great T20 WC. Well, there was that 39 all out v Srilanka, but they still ended the tournament well. First they qualified for the Super 10, and the manner in which they did was so unbelievable that even a harsh critic like me, who was disappointed at Ireland getting knocked out, was left mesmerized. Then the game against SA which they should have won. The one against NZ which they probably played as well as anyone for 80% of the game. And the final win over England, which really was a boring one sided match involving a test team and an associate 🙂
But what happens next. I think the ICC would have to make an exception for the Dutch after this showing, and perhaps persist with their ODI status, and also make them part of the next WC Qualifier cycle. ICC has invested a lot in dutch cricket in terms of TAPP funding and also giving them ODI games over the last so many years, that it would be silly to send them back to the wilderness now.
Overall though, the current Dutch team was still the motley crew of players from all over the world. Logan Van Beek, and Van Gughten dont even play in Topklasse, while most of the others are not products of Dutch development system. This is why teams like Napal, Afghanistan and Ireland were more exciting prospects than the dutch in the first round. But when someone chases 193 in 13.4 overs, there is nothing that one can say to deny them their spotlight.
It can be argued, that while many of the players in the national team might not be residents, at least the team was representative of the Dutch Topklasse, because all of Borren, Baressi, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Swart, Myburgh etc play in that league. These are good players from elsewhere who are attracted to the Dutch domestic league because it gives them an oppurtunity to play in a world cup. And if that incentive was not there, then Netherlands would have had a tough time paying them to come over and play. Them playing in the league raises its standards, and apparently the standard is high enough to be able to give test teams a good run in t20. But there is still something very flawed with the idea that a country can manufacture a team like a franchise, and be in the limelight more than countries with thousands of followers like Nepal, PNG and Uganda.
We have to wait and see what happens. I would still expect that the ICC will make a special exception for the Dutch. And after looking at the UAE team, which was the most unfit, and most unskilled team in the T20 WC, the Dutch would have been a lot better in the 2015 WC.