Experienced Dutch women’s side heads to Abu Dhabi

The Netherlands have selected their squad for the Women's T20 World Cup Global Qualifier

The Netherlands’ women’s team will play in their first global tournament for two and a half years when they travel to the UAE for the T20 World Cup qualifier later this month.

They will be hoping for better fortune than they had last time, when the competition was called off because of the Covid pandemic after they had lost to Sri Lanka and Ireland.

This time they will kick off their campaign against Vanuatu on 27 April, before facing the hosts, Zimbabwe and Ireland in their remaining group games.

There will be plenty of experience in the Dutch squad, eleven of those chosen having been in that ill-fated tournament in Zimbabwe in November 2021 and mostly a constant presence in the Dutch side since then.

That includes experienced captain Heather Siegers, veteran of 140 matches for the national side since making her debut at the age of 16, and key batters Sterre Kalis, who these days plays her cricket for the Northern Diamonds and Birmingham Phoenix in England, and Babette de Leede, cousin of Durham and Netherlands men’s allrounder Bas, and herself, at 24, a veteran of 130-plus national team games.

The squad will for the first time be under the guidance of former Scotland international Neil MacRae, recently appointed women’s national coach in succession to Shane Deitz.
In addition to Siegers, Kalis and De Leede the top order will feature Robine Rijke, who has shown herself of hard hitting, especially in the T20 format, and possibly Iris Zwilling, who in the absence of Kalis was promoted to open the innings during the European regional qualifier in Spain last September.

There may be a role, too, for Phebe Molkenboer, who broke into the side last season and who did enough to suggest that she could be a valuable contributor in the middle order.

It is, however, the bowling which is likely to be the crucial element in the Dutch campaign.

In addition to spearhead Zwilling, whose 48 T20I wickets have come at an everage of 16.62, the seam attack includes Rijke, Frédérique Overdijk – her seven for 3 against France remains a T20I record – and Hannah Landheer, while the spinners are off-spinner Eva Lynch and leg-spinners Caroline de Lange and Silver Siegers, the latter returning after a season away from the national side.

Along with Molkenboer, the newcomers to global competition are Merel Dekeling (20), daughter of former international Caroline Rambaldo and niece of former captain Helmien, Carlijn van Koolwijk (17), and Sanya Khurana, an allrounder who has had a good deal of success with Hampshire’s Under-18 side.

With only two places available for the World Cup in Bangladesh later this year and Ireland, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zimbabwe all in the mix, even reaching the semi-finals would be a huge achievement for this Dutch squad, but MacRae and Siegers will be looking to their players to give a good account of themselves against their full-time opponents.

The complete squad is:
Heather Siegers (HCC-Rood en Wit Haarlem, captain), Merel Dekeling (HBS Craeyenhout), Sterre Kalis (Northern Diamonds/Birmingham Phoenix), Sanya Khurana (Hampshire), Carlijn van Koolwijk (Voorburg), Hannah Landheer, Caroline de Lange (both Quick Haag), Babette de Leede, Eva Lynch (both Voorburg), Phebe Molkenboer (HBS), Frédérique Overdijk (Quick Haag), Robine Rijke (Quick Haag), Silver Siegers (HCC-Rood en Wit), Jolijn van Vliet (Kampong Utrecht), Iris Zwilling (HCC-Rood en Wit).

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