The KNCB has announced that its new CEO will be Milena van Not (51), a former hockey player and coach with an extensive background in marketing and sponsorship.
Ms. van Not will take up her appointment early next year, replacing departing CEO Jaap Wals.
Her past career includes a ten-year spell leading the Sponsorship and Partnership division of Unilever, in the course of which she arranged deals with the Dutch football association (KNVB), the Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and other bodies.
More recently she has worked for various marketing bureaus, including three years with sports and entertainment agency Wasserman, through which she has an outstanding international network of contacts.
KNCB chair Betty Timmer said that she was delighted with the appointment, expressing confidence that in Ms. van Not the Bond had found an outstanding new director.
‘The past year had been one to forget for us, as for all other Dutch sports unions, Ms. Timmer added, ‘but we have a full diary for 2021 and 2022, both nationally and internationally, COVID-19 permitting.’
Ms. van Not will be placing a great deal of emphasis on growing the Dutch cricket community, which has steadily contracted in recent decades, as well as continuing the restructuring of the KNCB’s organisation which Walsh has set in train.
‘I want to work with the Regional Development Officers and the clubs to achieve a substantial increase in members,’ she says, ‘and to bring many more men, women and young people, and above all Dutch sports fans, into contact with cricket, one of the greatest sports in the world.
‘I believe my network and experience will be of great help to me in my new role, as together with the Board, staff and all the clubs we take on the challenges we face.’
Apart from the perennial problem of expanding the game, one of those challenges will be to secure significant sponsorship for the KNCB, which last had a major sponsor as long ago as 2015.
The absence of a major sponsorship deal makes the KNCB unduly dependent upon ICC funding, with relatively little financial elbow-room for its own initiatives.
Ms. van Not also inherits the potentially awkward relationship between the Bond and its recently-established limited company, of which it is the sole shareholder.
If the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League is able to get back on track next season the Dutch will be hosting three-match ODI series against England, the West Indies and Ireland, by far the most ambitious programme it has ever taken on.
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