The Dutch governing body, the KNCB, has announced the appointment of 45-year-old Australian-born Shane Deitz as the first full-time women’s coach in the country’s history. He will take up his new role on 1 March next year.
Deitz, a left-handed batsman-wicketkeeper and occasional leg-spinner, played 66 first-class matches and 14 List A games for South Australia between 1999 and 2008, making 3753 first-class runs at an average of 30.76, the highest of his five centuries 154 against New South Wales at Adelaide in 2006.
He is no stranger to Dutch cricket, having played as a coach for HCC in 2007 and HBS Craeyenhout in 2009 and returning to the Craeyenhout club to coach in 2012 and to play nine Topklasse matches in 2013. In all, he made 1468 runs at 41.94, hitting three centuries, and took 47 wickets at 19.38, including five for 29 for HCC against ACC at De Diepput in 2007.
His bowling was especially effective in the T20 Cup in 2012, when he twice performed the hat-trick.
Deitz had gone into coaching after his first-class playing career ended, first in Wellington and then serving as head coach of the Bangladesh women’s side in 2013-14 before moving to Vanuatu, where he had a big impact on the men’s side and became CEO in 2018. He also played for Vanuatu in World Cricket League Division 4 and Challenge League tournaments.
His appointment in succession to departing women’s coach Sean Trouw represents a significant investment by the KNCB in the Dutch women’s game.
Trouw has been in charge of both the national side and the Lionesses programme, designed to keep girls in the game and to act as a talent development pathway. In addition to ICC tournaments the women have played with reasonable success in the ECB county competition since 2009, while the Lionesses have made annual visits to England.
But the Netherlands last played in the Women’s World Cup in 2000/01, and the Dutch have been overtaken by other countries as the women’s game has achieved a much higher profile in both ICC Full Members and Associates.
With just 150 women players in the country and the same number of girls, and only eight clubs fielding teams in the KNCB’s competition in 2020, a great of work needs to be done if women’s cricket is to meet the challenge posed by the ambition to achieve Full Membership by 2025/26.
Deitz’s appointment is therefore an astute move, since he has both a proven track record and the determination to build a successful women’s programme.
‘The KNCB have big ambitions, as do I,’ he said on his appointment, ‘and that’s what excites me most about this challenge.
‘The current global T20 ranking doesn’t reflect the talent in the squad, so we need to change that. I can’t wait to get over there and get to work.’
His first real tests will come quickly: the Dutch women are due to play in a 50-over World Cup qualifier, currently scheduled for Sri Lanka, in June and July next year, and will then take part in a six-team European qualifier for the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup the following month.
Three of the ten sides in the global 50-over tournament will progress to the World Cup, but for the Dutch it will also provide an opportunity to push their way up the ICC rankings.
And with Ireland and Scotland among the participants in the European tournament and only one automatic place in the global T20 qualifier to follow, the Netherlands will need to be at their best for this event.
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