National coach Ryan Campbell has selected a powerful Netherlands A side to take on the Ireland Wolves in three one-day matches at Oakhill CC in County Wicklow between 10 and 13 May, with only four differences from the squad which recently played the T20 tri-series in Nepal.
Missing from that outfit will be captain Pieter Seelaar (who will nevertheless be with the party as assistant coach), opener Max O’Dowd, seamer Sebastiaan Braat and spinner Julian de Mey.
In come Stephan Myburgh, who missed the Nepal trip but who will be competing with teenager and fellow left-hander Vikram Singh for the second opening spot later in the season, pace bowling allrounder Logan van Beek, and newcomers Ryan Klein and Musa Ahmad.
South African-born Klein, who had an impressive start in HBS Craeyenhout’s opening Topklasse match on Saturday, will get an immediate opportunity to establish his credentials for a spot in the Dutch international set-up, but there’s no place yet for Excelsior’s Tristan Stubbs, who was equally outstanding as he guided his side to victory against Voorburg’s largely international attack.
Van Beek played the last of his 16 matches in orange against Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup in 2017, but he is back in the Netherlands in Voorburg’s colours this season after a fine summer with Wellington in his native New Zealand.
Musa Ahmad has come on in leaps and bounds since his transfer to HCC from Groen en Wit Amsterdam last year, and it is no surprise to see him named among the batters for this series.
What is a little surprising is the inclusion of Scott Edwards, who will captain the side, and Ben Cooper, both of whom would be seen as automatic choices for the full squad even when the big battalions of county players become available for selection.
But Campbell’s eye is clearly on the challenges ahead – the one-day matches against Scotland later this month and then the Super League series against Ireland in June, and he points out that the Netherlands last played a one-day series against Zimbabwe in June 2019. Edwards and Cooper will therefore have an opportunity to get back into longer format mode after the helter-skelter of Kathmandu.
For the rest, pacemen Viv Kingma and Paul van Meekeren will benefit from a return to European conditions after looking well short of their best in Nepal, and the series will provide valuable international experience for up-and-comers like Bas de Leede, Tonny Staal, Philippe Boissevain, Aryan Dutt and Singh.
It will also give Tobias Visée a chance to stake his claim for a place in the longer format after his disappointing campaign in the T20 tri-series.
Announcing the side, Campbell summed it up aptly: ‘This Netherlands side represents a massive opportunity for these players to put their hands up for selection for the upcoming One Day Internationals against Scotland and Ireland.’
He also made clear that Punjab’s Saqib Zulfiqar was unavailable due to work commitments, adding that ‘he remain very much in our plans.’
The full squad is:
Scott Edwards (VOC Rotterdam, captain), Musa Ahmad (HCC), Logan van Beek (Voorburg), Philippe Boissevain (Voorburg), Ben Cooper (VRA Amsterdam), Aryan Dutt, Vivian Kingma (both Voorburg), Ryan Klein (HBS Craeyenhout), Bas de Leede (Voorburg), Paul van Meekeren (UK), Stephan Myburgh (Punjab Rotterdam), Vikram Singh (VRA Amsterdam), Tonny Staal (HCC).