The 17-man squad for the Netherlands’ final five Super League matches, to be played in Zimbabwe and South Africa between 21 March and 2 April is in reality two rather different outfits, with only a dozen of those selected taking part in both series.
The selectors were faced with the difficulty that three first-choice players – Colin Ackermann, Brandon Glover and Bas de Leede, all county-contracted – are unavailable for the two matches in South Africa, and they will be replaced by Wesley Barresi and Aryan Dutt.
Other than that, the Dutch will have something approaching a full-strength side, nine of the twelve who could play in both legs of the tour having been in the party which took part in the World T20 Cup in Australia last year.
They will, however, be without Logan van Beek and Tim Pringle, both of whom will be involved in the tail-end of the current New Zealand season, Stephan Myburgh, who has retired, and Timm van der Gugten.
The squad for Zimbabwe looks a good deal stronger than that which will face South Africa, with a potential top seven of Max O’Dowd, Vikram Singh, Tom Cooper, Ackermann, De Leede, Roelof van der Merwe and captain Scott Edwards, and a quartet of pace bowlers with Fred Klaassen, Paul van Meekeren, Glover and De Leede.
Spin is likely to be provided by wrist spinner Shariz Ahmed, along with Van der Merwe and the part-time but far from negligible skills of Ackermann and Cooper.
The experienced Barresi will be ready to slot into the top order when Ackermann and De Leede depart, with Viv Kingma and Ryan Klein as pace back-up for De Leede and Glover.
It could be an interesting return for Barresi, who began his career in Benoni, the venue for the first ODI against South Africa, playing first-class cricket for Easterns.
The balance of the side, however, is bound to be affected by the loss of the allrounder De Leede, although there will be an additional spin option with the arrival of Dutt, who bowled impressively throughout the ‘Summer of Cricket’, containing the Pakistanis and dismissing West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran three times in as many innings for a total of 24 runs.
The Dutch will be without their current national coach, Ryan Cook, who will be otherwise engaged at the IPL, but he will be replaced by a colleague at Gary Kirsten’s Cricket Academy, Ryan van Niekerk, who will be assisted by former South African international Heino Kuhn, no stranger to Dutch cricket, and former Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo.
The full squad is:
Scott Edwards (VOC Rotterdam, captain), Colin Ackermann (Leicestershire, Zimbabwe only), Musa Nadeem Ahmed, Shariz Ahmed (both Voorburg), Wesley Barresi (HBS Craeyenhout, South Africa only), Tom Cooper (South Australia), Aryan Dutt (VRA Amsterdam, South Africa only), Brandon Glover (Durham, Zimbabwe only), Viv Kingma (Voorburg), Fred Klaassen (Kent), Ryan Klein (HBS Craeyenhout), Bas de Leede (Durham, Zimbabwe only), Roelof van der Merwe (Somerset), Paul van Meekeren (Gloucestershire), Teja Nidamanuru (Punjab Rotterdam), Max O’Dowd (VOC Rotterdam), and Vikramjit Singh (VRA Amsterdam).
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