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WI eye sweep against home-brew Dutch on historic Netherlands tour

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A rejuvenated West Indies side under new captain Nicholas Pooran arrived in the Netherlands ahead of their historic three-match CWC Super League ODI series, the first ever bilateral series between the two countries, aiming to take 30 much-needed points off a Dutch side again shorn of practically all their County-contracted professionals.

The two teams have met only twice before in official ODIs; first in the 2007 Quadrangular series in Ireland and then at the 2011 World Cup, with the West Indies winning convincingly both times. The Dutch put up more of a fight in their most recent 50-over encounter at the 2018 World Cup Qualifier, with Wesley Barresi and Ryan ten Doeschate keeping them well ahead for much of the chase only for a batting collapse just before the rain saw them sink to a 54-run defeat on DLS.

Currently languishing in the 10th place on the table with 5 wins from 15 matches, the WI can ill-afford to leave any points behind in Amstelveen if they are to secure direct qualification for the 2024 World Cup and avoid another trip to Zimbabwe for an increasingly competitive Qualifier tournament. For the Netherlands, with just two early wins against Ireland and a washout against South Africa to balance their seven defeats in the league, a top-eight finish looks increasingly implausible, and indeed any hope of survival in the top-flight of ODI cricket have already been quashed off the field, with news that the competition would be discontinued after this inaugural edition.

Nonetheless for any Associate side, a three-match series against an established full member can be seen as an end in itself, even if the Dutch are rather spoiled in that regard this summer, with visits from England, New Zealand and Pakistan lined up for later in the season. It will thus be rather galling for the home fans that the hosts will again be fielding a rather under-strength side for the series, with Fred Klaassen the only county-contracted Dutchman making the trip over, and even he likely only available for the first ODI.

Also sidelined for the series will be the Netherlands long-time head coach Ryan Campbell, who has taken a temporary step back from the role following a serious health scare last month. South African Ryan Cook has been drafted in as acting head coach in the interim, but he has been forced to draw almost exclusively on locally-based players for the series.

The Netherlands will be missing five of their six county-contracted players, among them Leicestershire captain Colin Ackermann. Also absent is Otago’s Michael Rippon, while veteran opener Stephan Myburgh has followed Ben Cooper and Ryan ten Doeschate into retirement, leaving the hosts without a single batsman averaging over 30 in the competition. Their absences will put extra pressure on the rest of the established batting order, in particular opener Max O’Dowd and keeper-bat Scott Edwards, both in fine domestic form. Youngsters Bas de Leede and Vikramjit Singh showed flashes of promise in the recent series in New Zealand, with the 22 year-old de Leede (son of former Netherlands captain Tim) already thrust into a senior role in the side. Reinforcing the batting will be one new face in former former Auckland all-rounder Teja Nidamanuru, who recently qualified on residency after several years in the Netherlands, while Musa Nadeem Ahmad and Tonny Staal will likely get an opportunity to make their case for a regular spot in the team.

Veteran skipper Pieter Seelaar dwarfs the rest of the side in terms of experience, having played almost as many matches for the Dutch as the rest of the sixteen-man squad combined. The left-armer will lead a spin section drawn from a comparatively callow pool, with 21 year-old legspinner Philippe Boissevain’s 15 appearances in Orange making him the next most seasoned slow bowler. The other options are off-spin all-rounder Aryan Dutt, slow southpaw Clayton Floyd and still younger wrist-spinner Shariz Ahmad.

The Dutch do have depth to draw on in the seam section in spite of the absence of the likes of van Meekeren, van der Gugten and Snater. Wellington and Voorburg’s Logan van Beek will lead the attack along with Vivian Kingma, who returns from suspension, and fellow right armer Ryan Klein also returns. Both Singh and de Leede are also able to send down serviceable seam, though the pace attack will be rather short on variety should the left-armer Klaassen depart early.

The West Indies will likewise be missing a few high-profile names, with former skipper Jason Holder rested, Shimron Hetmeyer sitting out for personal reasons and Evin Lewis failing to make the cut on fitness grounds. Coming into the side are right-arm quicks Shermon Lewis and Jayden Seales, along with top-order bat Keacy Carty. The latter’s inclusion is particularly remarkable given that the Sint Maarten-born Carty, as the first player from the Dutch Caribbean to be called up for the senior WI squad, would also have been eligible to play for the Netherlands in this series.

Carty will face sterner competition for a spot in the WI top-order than he might have for the hosts, with Shai Hope and Brandon King likely to open while Shamarh Brooks and Pooran himself will also likely feature in the top five. Red-ball regulars Nkumrah Bonner and Kyle Mayers will also be looking to establish themselves as multi-format bats, with Rovman Powell able to supply firepower down the order.

Akeal Hosein’s left-arm spin is likely to feature heavily through the middle overs in a squad otherwise light on dedicated finger-spinners, while former USA-international Hayden Walsh Jr.’s leg-spin provides a more attacking option. Competition for seamers spots will be fiercer, with Lewis and Seales competing with the late-arriving Alzarri Joseph (from IPL duty) along with Anderson Phillip and Romario Shepherd.

What’s at stake

For the hosts, aside from putting on a show for the home fans in the curtain-raiser for what will be by a distance the most box-office international summer in the Netherlands’ venerable cricketing history, the series represents a chance to showcase how far their young home-grown talent has come. With the prospect of direct qualification for the World Cup looking fanciful at best and their impending banishment from the ODI top-flight now inevitable, the Netherlands’ Super League campaign now serves primarily as a quite extraordinary baptism of fire for emerging Dutch players.

For the West Indies, the series is primarily a banana-skin, albeit one with the potential to topple their already tottering qualification campaign. Having lost series to Bangladesh, Australia, India and Ireland, anything but a clean sweep against the Dutch would be a significant blow to their top-eight hopes, and a step toward an unwanted return to the Qualifier.

What to expect

The VRA Cricket Ground, located in the picturesque Amsterdamse Bos in the Amsterdam suburb of Amstelveen, is traditionally the most batting-friendly of the Netherlands’ handful of international grounds, and typically has more in common with tracks across the North Sea than the slower and lower decks one tends to see at other Dutch venues. There was still plenty of green to be seen on the square at time of writing, expect some lateral movement early with the bat coming to dominate later in the innings.

An unusually warm and dry April has given way to a more typically Dutch May, with temperatures not climbing above the high teens and regular though rarely sustained rainfall. The outlook for the coming week is likewise unsettled, with Tuesday afternoon in particular threatening unwelcome wet weather. Yet while washout is never out of the question in the Netherlands, an abandonment this week would be the first of the Dutch season and the outlook after Wednesday is brighter.


Netherlands:Pieter Seelaar (c), Max O’Dowd, Tonny Staal, Vikram Singh, Musa Ahmad, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Scott Edwards, Logan van Beek, Aryan Dutt, Clayton Floyd, Philippe Boissevain, Fred Klaassen, Ryan Klein, Vivian Kingma, Shariz Ahmad.

West Indies:Nicholas Pooran (c), Shai Hope, Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Shermon Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, and Hayden Walsh Jr.


  • Tuesday 31 May, 11:00am (CEST) – 1st ODI – CWCSL – Netherlands vs West Indies at VRA, Amstelveen.

  • Thursday 2 June, 11:00am (CEST) – 2nd ODI – CWCSL – Netherlands vs West Indies at VRA, Amstelveen.

  • Saturday 4 June, 11:00am (CEST) – 3rd ODI – CWCSL – Netherlands vs West Indies at VRA, Amstelveen.

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