Dutch Class Upsets The ICC

23 02 2011

We don’t know why, but, increasingly over the past year or so we have noticed a romantic side coming out here at the Compulsive Hooker. We have always had a soft spot for the underdog, generally supporting the weaker team over the stronger, yet this has not, until yesterday come through in a game against England…

We were watching the England run chase, enjoying the way England were batting, but aware the whole way through that, actually, we wouldn’t have minded too much if the Netherlands sneaked home. We could argue that we are supporting ‘cricket’ this way as a World Cup would not be complete without a minnow upsetting a senior team but, most of all, we were hoping the Dutch could shove the ICC’s opinions of Associate cricket straight back at them.

We, unlike Ricky Ponting, have long been a member of the school of thought that more exposure rather than less is good for the junior members of the world game, and, if the ICC are serious about promoting the spread of cricket, then tournaments like the world cup are vital for raising the profile of cricket in these countries. Ponting and the ICC on the other hand are firmly in the ‘less [teams] is more’ camp as far as the world cup is concerned and we cannot help but think they have grabbed the wrong end of the stick here.

Some of the sharper readers amongst you may spot an apparent contradiction there as obviously, with more teams involved in the world cup, there are more games to play – something that perhaps contributes to the over saturation of the world game. The world cup is different being a marquee event and generating interest shouldn’t be a problem, although, with the ICC scheduling only one or two games everyday and stretching it out for eternity, they are doing their best.

In short, less meaningless games during the rest of the year coupled with exposure for the Netherlands’s of this world during an important tournament is probably the more sensible way round…

Holland’s performance yesterday was brilliant and South Africa must be ruing the fact that Ryan ten Doeschate is playing for the Netherlands rather than them. He is clearly a performer of the highest class and we are very pleased to say that this is a bandwagon we joined long ago –  as you can see here. Whilst it is true that England’s standards dropped to levels unseen for several years, the credit must ultimately go to the Dutch for putting them under pressure.

With the sub continent being full of excellent batting tracks it would be a surprise perhaps for an associate not to upset a more established power before the tournament is over. With the class of Cooper and Ten Doeschate in their middle overs who is to say that it will not be the Dutch who provide it.

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