Netherlands Cricket Board invites seamers, mystery spinners for World Cup training camp in India

Netherland cricket doesn’t have enough depth in domestic cricket or resources to have travelling net bowlers accompanying the team.

Published : Sep 08, 2023 11:51 IST , Amsterdam - 4 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Netherlands players in action.
FILE PHOTO: Netherlands players in action. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: Netherlands players in action. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The financial inequality and gulf in resources among 10 participating nations in the upcoming World Cup couldn’t have been starker unless one bumped into a social media advertisement posted by the Netherlands cricket board seeking Indian net bowlers to help them in their preparations for the mega event.

While it is a convention (not a rule) for local state associations (Karnataka State Cricket Association in this case) to provide net bowlers for visiting teams, the Dutch cricket board, in a first-of-its-kind advertisement on ‘ X’, formerly Twitter, has sought one left-arm seamer, right arm seamer, mystery spinner and a left-arm spinner for their five-day pre-Cup camp in Alur from September 20-24.

The Netherlands squad led by Australia-born Scott Edwards had come to Bengaluru in August for a short three-day acclimatisation camp but it is understood unlike some of the other teams, including hosts India, Netherland cricket doesn’t have enough depth in domestic cricket or resources to have travelling net bowlers accompanying the team.

For any cricket fan, the contrast will be evident if one reads two of the eight criteria listed to become the Netherland World Cup squad’s net bowler.

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The pacers need to bowl above 120 kmph (75 miles per hour) and spinners, who are able to give it a tweak at a minimum of 80 kmph (50 miles per hour).

They have demanded videos with aspirants bowling a minimum of one over with a clear trajectory of the deliveries visible. Their travel, stay and meals during the camp would be taken care of by the Royal Netherlands Cricket Association. All the applicants need to be above 18 years of age and residents of India.

KSCA, however, is ready to help them get the best possible net bowlers in town.

“They have already camped here and played a couple of matches. We have provided them the required facilities, as per their request. We are ready to host them whenever they return,” a senior KSC official told PTI when enquired about the advertisement “We will provide the best possible facilities such as ground and net bowlers, and, yes, they are free to rope in any additional support,” the KSCA official added.

A BCCI official, in the know of things, when asked about this unique advertisement, said that it has more to do with the Netherlands team not having enough contact in this part of the world.

“It is the state associations which provide net bowlers but some of the teams like England, Australia having travelled over the years have enough contacts among BCCI bodies and they rope in some quality net bowlers,” the official explained.

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“When Australia came for a Test series earlier this year, Vidarbha’s Mahesh Pithiya and Jammu and Kashmir’s Abid Mushtaq were there with the team helping during nets. They roped them through their contacts, something the Dutch won’t have,” he added.

“May be they want some quality travelling net bowlers because you always won’t get best net bowlers at all venues. It is better to carry at least a few permanently. With so much of travelling and matches on the bounce, the main squad bowlers of all teams won’t go full throttle at nets and might not bowl on non-match days. What do you do then?”.

Perhaps the weakest among the 10 countries involved in the 50-over global meet starting October 5, the Netherlands cricket establishment still works in a semi-professional set-up with more than 70 per cent of players earning their livelihood through different vocations and in the whole country, not even 10 players having central contracts.

Most of the players get a chance to practice during day time only on weekends while on weekdays, they finish their 9-5 job and train indoors in the evening.

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