Netherlands on the up - Van Nierop
Netherlands team manager Ed Van Nierop believes his side are reaping the benefits of playing regularly in the Clydesdale Bank 40.
The ICC associate nation recorded their fourth win of the campaign when they defeated Yorkshire by four wickets in Amstelveen on Sunday, having bowled out their opponents for just 123.
Van Nierop told ecb.co.uk: “The boys are really keen to play the counties and it’s good to see the level improving.
“It’s amazing that the ECB is supporting our cricket by getting us involved in the CB40. I think the counties are actually surprised we are competing.
“We had an absolute cracker in the CB40 earlier in the year against Yorkshire (when they won by two runs at Headingley Carnegie) and it’s good to see the boys do the same thing again back home.”
Van Nierop is optimistic about the future of the game in the Netherlands, with a number of programmes in place to aid the development of younger players.
“There have been many plans to improve the standard of cricket, but also at school level we are now doing programmes with the Dutch side involved, actually showing what cricket is all about,” he explained.
“There’s only 6,000 people playing the game in Holland and it’s not known at all. It’s like the number 35 sport in the country.
With football, tennis, golf and hockey, where the Dutch are pretty big in, cricket comes nowhere near, so it’s quite amazing that these boys, who are mostly amateurs, qualify for the World Cup every time.
“It’s good to see that, even though we didn’t perform really well at this World Cup, the level is improving and obviously the involvement in the ECB set-up does help.”
Captain Peter Borren led by example against Yorkshire, making 34 runs after picking up 2-24 earlier in the day.
He was understandably proud of his team’s effort and feels there is more to come.
“Yorkshire are a good side. For us beating them twice is a really good effort, I thought we came back really well with a good performance,” he said.
“To do a whole innings in the field is not always easy but we were fantastic and kept taking regular wickets and they couldn’t really build any partnerships.
“We’re middle of the table and only got two guys who get paid to play cricket. It shows we’ve improved and there’s a definite potential in Dutch cricket.”