Eligibility error mars Dutch Women’s victory over Italy

Madison Landsman's debut for the Netherlands was overshadowed by her ineligibility, having previously represented South Africa U19s last year

The Netherlands Women had a comfortable 94-run win in the opening match of their T20 series against Italy at the Loopuyt Oval in Schiedam on Tuesday, but their performance on the field was overshadowed by the revelation that the Dutch had fielded an ineligible player.

The player in question was 20-year-old South African Madison Landsman, who is turning out for women’s Hoofdklasse club Voorburg in the Dutch domestic competitions this season.

Landsman was part of the South African under-19 World T20 Cup squad in January 2023, where she claimed the first-ever hat-trick in the competition and took four for 16 against Scotland, and as a Dutch passport holder she is obviously a terrific prospect for the national side.

But her last game for the South African under-19s was on 24 January 2023, and under the ICC’s eligibility regulations that means she can’t appear for the Netherlands until January 2026.

Once KNCB officials realised their mistake they immediately notified the ICC, who have extensive powers under the regulations, including ‘adjustment, overturning or amendment of results achieved in, loss of points earned at, or disqualification from the International Match or ICC Event in relation to which the offence has been committed’.

Since T20I rankings points are at stake in the series some such sanction seems likely, although the KNCB and Landsman may well benefit from the fact that what appears on the face of it to have been negligence rather than deliberate malfeasance on the part of the governing body was speedily and voluntarily admitted.

It was all most unfortunate for Landsman, who had proved on the field what an asset she could be to the Dutch side: opening the batting, she made a 30-ball 36, and then took two for 12 with her leg-breaks as the Italians chased the home side’s 178 for four, as well as taking a fine diving catch to dismiss number three batter Ilenia Sims.

It was unfortunate, too, for the rest of the Dutch team, since important as Landsman’s contribution was, it was far from being the difference between the sides.

Babette de Leede, captaining the Netherlands in the absence of Heather Siegers, made an unbeaten 82 from 42 deliveries, her highest in Dutch colours, anchoring the innings after Landsman’s departure, and Caroline de Lange was again a key factor with the ball, her four overs of leg-spin yielding two for 8 with two maiden overs as Italy battled against a much more experienced attack.

Sims had earlier been the pick of the Italian bowlers, taking three for 27, while captain Emilia Bartram dominated the reply with a 40-ball 39 out of a total of 84 for nine.

There will be three more matches in the series, a double-header on Wednesday and a final game on Thursday.

It’s the beginning of a busy spell for the Dutch women: Hong Kong, Scotland and Papua New Guinea are all scheduled to visit in the course of the summer as the KNCB significantly expands its women’s international programme.


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