T20 World Cup: Why not come to Holland for ten days before big teams travel to England, asks Paul van Meekeren

Netherlands fast bowler Paul van Meekeren has asked major cricketing nations to considering playing matches against the Netherlands while on their way to tour England, which would act as a major boost for his team to play international cricket.

This year, the Netherlands have hosted West Indies, England and Pakistan for ODI matches as a part of them being in the ODI Super League, which unfortunately is going to be discontinued after next year’s World Cup in India.

“There’s no reason why Test teams can’t come to Holland instead of playing the counties. Hopefully as a non-cricketing nation, these big players can walk the streets without being recognized so they have more freedom playing in Holland. This year hopefully we showed how good the wickets are in Holland.”

“The practice wickets were outstanding back home, and we played some competitive games. We’ve got the facilities. We can be as competitive as playing the warm-up game against other countries. Why not come to Holland for ten days before they (the big teams) travel to England?” said van Meekeren after the end of India-Netherlands match in Men’s T20 World Cup at Sydney Cricket Ground.

In Thursday’s match, the Netherlands had kept India to 67/1 in their first ten overs on a two-paced pitch. Van Meekeren had struck the early blow by trapping KL Rahul lbw, but Netherlands had shelled a chance of having India captain Rohit Sharma dismissed early if Tim Pringle had held to the catch at mid-on in the fifth over.

Rohit later made 53, while Virat Kohli (62 not out off 44 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out off 25 balls) had an amazing 95-run stand off 48 deliveries with Kohli for the third wicket to set a stiff 180-target for Netherlands, which they fell short by 56 runs.

“Looking at myself, I gave three quite easy boundaries away. If we’re being honest to ourselves, probably a little bit less (than we would have liked), especially after the first 10 overs. We didn’t take the wickets that we wanted to, which gives them the freedom to play as they did at the back.”

“We’re being hard on ourselves. I guess you can’t miss by a centimeter, and you’re in trouble. Bowling against the best players in the world, even if you miss a little bit, you just go. I personally did it three times, and I’m sure some of the other bowlers might feel the same about their own bowling.”

“But I think, firstly, I’m very proud about how we went about it. Them being one down. It could have been a lot more. We could have panicked and lost our heads, but I think all the bowlers stayed very clear on what they wanted to do. They came with good plan, stuck to it, and then just try and execute.”

Van Meekeren signed off by saying the experience and feeling of playing against India in front of a vociferous crowd at Sydney would take a while to sink in.

“The amount of media we got back home because we’re playing India was immense. You try to block the noise out. You watch it on TV about 100 times, and just to be there is very special. I think in the moment I probably didn’t realize it as much, and it will probably sink in in the next 24 hours.”

“Getting photos and messages from people in Holland from family about just the articles and I said about something this is a day I’ll tell to my grandkids hopefully. That’s what it is, playing against India.”

“At the end of the day, you’re playing against 11 other men. They’re not Gods or anything, so you just compete man-to-man. That’s what we tried to do today, and it didn’t plan out probably the way we hoped to. Sometimes you get it wrong, and you’re in trouble, and sometimes you execute, and it’s only a dot ball no matter how good they are.”




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