Dutch international strategy stays on course

Netherlands T20 World Cup
Netherlands T20 World Cup

There are few surprises in the Netherlands cricket winter squads announced at the end of last week, but it is evident that national coach Ryan Campbell is determined to push ahead with his drive to produce a Dutch side with more home-produced players.

Most of the 38 names spread across three men’s squads – the senior training group, the Academy and the overseas and county players – will be familiar to followers of the Netherlands side, but Campbell has also rewarded several up and coming youngsters.

One notable addition is Victor Lubbers, the 26-year-old son of former national captain Steven Lubbers, who made 408 runs at an average of 58.29 for his Salland club in the Hoofdklasse this season, including a knock of 174 against HCC 2.

Lubbers played 39 Topklasse matches for VRA Amsterdam between 2011 and 2014, making an immediate impact when he debuted as a 17-year-old, but disappeared from the radar somewhat when he moved to Salland.

Campbell, however, has shown that he is happy to look for talent beyond the top flight, and his senior squad also includes two players from Hermes-DVS Schiedam, Sebastiaan Braat, who has played five times for the Netherlands, being joined by his uncapped clubmate and fellow allrounder Olivier Elenbaas.

The Academy squad, too, includes a handful of youngsters from Hoofdklasse clubs: the Kampong Utrecht trio of Pierre Jacod, Kertan Nana and Alex Roy, and leg-spinning allrounder Shariz Ahmed of Groen en Wit Amsterdam, brother of HCC opener Musa Nadeem Ahmed, who transferred to the Den Hague club this season.

The full squad is notably rich in spinning options, with leg-spinners Philippe Boissevain (Voorburg) and Saqib Zulfiqar (Punjab Rotterdam) joined by left-armers Clayton Floyd (HCC) and Julian de Mey (HBS) and off-spinner Leon Turmaine (VRA), the latter pair yet to win a cap for their country.

Netherlands cricket winter squads
Roelof van der Merwe may face competition from a young group of spinners in the Dutch winter squads (Photo: ICC)

With a visit to Namibia now rescheduled for early next year, COVID-19 restrictions permitting, ahead of a busy Super League programme next summer and the postponed World T20 Cup to follow, it will be interesting to see how many of these Dutch-produced players eventually make the cut, given the lurking presence of 13 overseas-based – and mostly overseas-produced – internationals in the broader selection.

When the path to the national side is past established players of the quality of Ryan ten Doeschate, Roelof van der Merwe, Colin Ackermann, Brandon Glover, Ben Cooper and Max O’Dowd (who has quickly made an impression with Otago in the New Zealand competitions), Campbell’s young hopefuls will know that they face a significant challenge.

The full squads are:

Winter training squad:

Philippe Boissevain (Voorburg), Sebastiaan Braat, Olivier Elenbaas (both Hermes-DVS), Clayton Floyd (HCC), Vivian Kingma, Bas de Leede (both Voorburg), Victor Lubbers (Salland), Julian de Mey (HBS Craeyenhout), Stephan Myburgh (Punjab), Pieter Seelaar (VOC), Vikram Singh (VRA), Tonny Staal (HCC), Leon Turmaine (VRA), Tobias Visée (HBS Craeyenhout), Saqib Zulfiqar (Punjab).

Academy squad:

Musa Nadeem Ahmed (HCC), Shariz Ahmed (Groen en Wit), Arjan Dutt (Voorburg), Niels Etman (Excelsior ’20), Boris Gorlee (HCC), Pierre Jacod (Kampong), Arnav Jain, Tim de Kok (both VOC), Kertan Nana, Alex Roy (both Kampong).

Overseas and County players:

Colin Ackermann (Leicestershire), Logan van Beek (Wellington), Ben Cooper (Port Adelaide), Ryan ten Doeschate (Essex), Scott Edwards (Richmond, Melbourne), Brandon Glover (Northamptonshire), Timm van der Gugten (Glamorgan), Fred Klaassen (Kent), Paul van Meekeren (Cutthorpe CC), Roelof van der Merwe (Somerset), Max O’Dowd (Otago), Adam Wiffen (Potterne CC).

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