With the abandonment of the projected international series against Denmark and Scotland the KNCB has opted for an expanded Pro Series of eight matches, split between 50-over and T20 contests.
The two Dutch regional sides, the Hurricanes and the Seafarers, had their origin in the North Sea Pro Series, which also involved Scottish teams and which was first played in 2014.
In 2017 the Scots decided to go their own way, and since then there have been matches between the Hurricanes, theoretically representing the north of the Netherlands, and the Seafarers, although team selections have often been adjusted to provide more even contests.
As with the domestic club competition, the absence of overseas-based players this year will give the national coaching team an extended opportunity to look at a range of up-and-coming youngsters, and there will be plenty of interest in half a dozen or so who will be getting the chance to play at this level for the first time.
The Hurricanes squad for the first three games, for example, includes Groen en Wit’s teenage leg spinner Shariz Ahmed, who has already taken 16 wickets for his club in the Hoofdklasse competition, as well as Quick Haag wicketkeeper-batsman Lucas del Bianco.
They will join a side, captained by Bas de Leede, which also includes established internationals Ben Cooper, Viv Kingma and Paul van Meekeren – who is playing club cricket in England this season – and Academy youngsters Arnav Jain (VOC Rotterdam), Rens van Troost (Excelsior ’20 Schiedam) and Olivier Elenbaas (Hermes-DVS Schiedam).
One of the more eye-catching selections is that of Van Troost’s 14-year-old brother Jelte, who has catapulted into Excelsior’s first team this season and who has now been brought into the Seafarers squad.
The potential confrontation of the two Van Troosts is mirrored by that of the Ahmeds, with Shariz’s elder brother Musa, now part of the HCC set-up, also playing for the Seafarers.
That side will be led by Musa’s club skipper and opening partner Tonny Staal, and also features internationals Stef Myburgh, Tobias Visée, Saqib Zulfiqar, Hidde Overdijk, Sebastiaan Braat and Philippe Boissevain.
Academy players in the Seafarers side are Sparta 1888 paceman Max Hoornweg and Kampong Utrecht’s Pierre Jacod, who is joined in the lineup by his Kampong teammate Kertan Nana.
An interesting inclusion is opener Adam Wiffen, who moved from HCC to VRA over the winter but who is yet to appear for his new club.
The full Pro Series squads are:
Hurricanes: Bas de Leede (Voorburg, captain), Shariz Ahmed (Groen en Wit), Lucas del Bianco (Quick Haag), Ben Cooper (VRA), Aryan Dutt (Voorburg), Olivier Elenbaas (Hermes-DVS), Clayton Floyd (HCC), Arnav Jain (VOC), Viv Kingma (Voorburg), Tim de Kok (both VOC), Paul van Meekeren (Cutthorpe CC), Julien de Mey (HBS Craeyenhout), Vikram Singh (VRA), Rens van Troost (Excelsior ’20).
Seafarers: Tonny Staal (HCC, captain), Musa Nadeem Ahmed (HCC), Philippe Boissevain (Voorburg), Sebastiaan Braat (Hermes-DVS), Boris Gorlee (HCC), Max Hoornweg (Sparta), Pierre Jacod (Kampong), Stef Myburgh (Punjab), Kertan Nana (Kampong), Hidde Overdijk (HCC), Jelte van Troost (Excelsior), Tobias Visée (HBS), Adam Wiffen (VRA), Saqib Zulfiqar (Punjab).
This week’s fixtures:
Tuesday, 11 August, 11:00 50-over match
Wednesday, 12 August, 11:00 50-over match
Thursday, 13 August, 16:00 T20 match.
All matches at VRA ground, Amstelveen.
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