Klaassen, Van der Gugten return for Netherlands ahead of Nepal tour

The Netherlands have picked a strong unit for Nepal in spite of domestic and franchise commitments for players elsewhere.

Netherlands Bas de Leede and Max O'Dowd

The Dutch have announced two slightly different squads for their forthcoming visit to Nepal, where they will play a League 2 ODI tri-series against the hosts and Namibia, followed by a T20I series against the same opponents.

The 15-man squad for the 50-over matches includes Bas de Leede (Durham) and newcomer Olivier Elenbaas (Hermes-DVS Schiedam), a pace-bowling allrounder who has been part of the A-team set-up for the past couple of years, but they will make way for the T20Is for left-armer Fred Klaassen (Kent) and Timm van der Gugten (Glamorgan), both of whom missed out on last year’s World Cup Qualifier and the World Cup itself. 

The League 2 campaign, to be played between 15 and 25 February, will form part of the long qualifying process for the 2027 World Cup, while the T20Is from 27 February to 5 March will be a further step in the build-up to the World T20 Cup in June, which began with the Netherlands’ visit to South Africa last month.

There are otherwise few surprises in the selection, which includes the core of the squad which played in India: notable absences are those who are engaged in first-class-equivalent competitions in the Southern Hemisphere, specifically Logan van Beek and Tim Pringle, both of whom are playing in New Zealand, and the Pretoria Capitals’ Colin Ackermann.

But skipper Scott Edwards, openers Max O’Dowd and Vikram Singh, veterans Wesley Barresi and Roelof van der Merwe, spinners Aryan Dutt and Shariz Ahmad, Teja Nidamanuru and Sybrand Engelbrecht are all scheduled to take part in both segments of the tour.

There’s a place, too, for the Voorburg pair Noah Croes – back-up behind the stumps for Edwards – and Michael Levitt, both of whom have been knocking on the door for the past year or so.

Whether either will get a run in the League 2 series may be open to question, with a top and middle order which is likely to include O’Dowd, Singh, Barresi, Engelbrecht, De Leede, Nidamanuru and Edwards (by no means necessarily in that sequence), but with De Leede missing from the T20 squad either or both may well be given an opportunity.

Viv Kingma returns to the squad, and will be part of a pace attack which also includes, as well as De Leede and Elenbaas, Kyle Klein, younger brother of the absent Ryan, who has also yet to gain a first Netherlands cap.

That unit will be reinforced for the T20s by Klaassen and Van der Gugten which is doubtless a pointer towards the way coach Ryan Cook’s mind may be working as he looks towards the US and Caribbean; Klaassen has recently been plagued by injury, but he could be a key element in Cook’s planning for the T20 Cup.

The full squads are:

League 2: Scott Edwards (VOC/Kampong, captain), Shariz Ahmad (Voorburg), Wesley Barresi (HBS), Noah Croes (Voorburg), Aryan Dutt (VRA), Olivier Elenbaas (Hermes-DVS), Sybrand Engelbecht, Viv Kingma (both Voorburg), Kyle Klein (BHS), Bas de Leede (Durham), Michael Levitt (Voorburg), Roelof van der Merwe (Somerset), Teja Nidamanuru (VRA), Max O’Dowd (VOC/Kampong), and Vikram Singh (VRA).

T20I series: Edwards, Shariz Ahmad, Barresi, Croes, Dutt, Engelbrecht, Timm van de Gugten (Glamorgan), Kingma, Fred Klaassen (Kent), Kyle Klein, Levitt, Van der Merwe, Nidamanuru, O’Dowd and Singh.

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