Three Dutch cricket personalities receive royal recognition

On the Dutch monarch’s birthday, when Amsterdam traditionally (though alas, not this year) hosts the biggest street party in Europe and people hold street markets at which the contents of half the population’s attics are transferred to the attics of the other half and vice versa, deserving citizens are honoured with membership of the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

And this year no fewer than three prominent members of the Dutch cricket community have been made knights of the order, a rank which does not give a title like ‘Sir’ but which does entitle the holder to wear a lintje, a ribbon on orange, white and blue, in their lapel.

One of the trio is Willem Molenaar (75), best known as a doyen of the umpiring fraternity, having stood in no fewer than 1111 matches (which might be called a Super-Nelson?) at all levels since 1974, including more than a few featuring the national team.

He has also made a huge contribution off the field, serving on the KNCB’s Umpires and Rules Committees, tutoring courses for new umpires and mentoring the graduates through the early stages of their careers. Molenaar was named an Honorary Life Member of the KNCB in 2019.

A second Honorary Life Member of the Bond newly knighted by King Willem Alexander is former national captain Steven Lubbers (68).

Lubbers played 172 times for the Netherlands between 1972 and 1996, 102 times as captain, making 3304 runs at an average of 25.03 and taking 145 wickets at 26.45. He skippered the side 102 times, including the 1990 and 1994 ICC Trophy tournaments and the 1996 World Cup, where the Dutch appeared for the first time.
He has also been central to the two Deventer clubs, Kon. UD and its successor Salland, and served as vice-chairman of the KNCB from 2015 to 2018. He currently works as Regional Development Officer for the Bond in the East and South regions.

The third member of the trio is Rob Kemming, who has served the KNCB and his club, Sparta 1888, in many capacities, most notably as manager of the national team from 2007 to 2010 (including the Netherlands’ epic T20 win over England at Lord’s in 2009) and from 2015 to 2018.

A former Board member of the KNCB, he continues to sit in the Umpires Committee, and assists in various roles at home international matches. He has been a Lid van Verdienste (Long-Serving Member) of the Bond since 2009, and is the recipient of an ICC Lifetime Service Award.

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