Wanna Go Dutch? This is a phrase all of us have heard from our childhood days. On Tuesday in Dharamsala, the Netherlands were not willing to Go Dutch with the points. Instead, they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the ICC World Cup, shocking South Africa by 38 runs.
For all those who have followed Holland or Netherlands or the Dutch as a sporting nation, their footballers, hockey players and swimmers have been classy in the Olympics. In terms of club football, once upon a time they had great names like Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. These names did the Dutch proud in international football as well.
In field hockey, Floris Jan Bovelander was one of the best ever penalty corner experts. A sure shot pile driver, he would ensure each attempt was converted. In fact, Indian hockey hired a famous name like Sjoerd Marijne for its women’s team as coach till the Tokyo Olympics, where they finished fourth.
Where did cricket come in suddenly? Had there been rain throughout instead of a few minutes and no play possible, it would have been sad for South Africa to split points. But this was a change in script like a Hercule Poirot thriller, gripping till the end.
For those who have read ‘Murder on The Orient Express’ or seen the movie adaptation, what the Dutch did on Tuesday was to ditch tradition. Associate members are there to make up numbers. Never say that again. One man answering to the name Scott Edwards changed the script. From a position of weakness, Scott showed he was not giving up. His 78 was a tribute to his willingness to take on the mighty Proteas, who, on paper, have the best seam bowling attack.
Experts had told fans that the current South African fast bowling attack was ruthless. Yes, the names of Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen ring a bell. Sadly, when the Netherlands batted, the alarm bells rang for the South Africans as they allowed them to score 245 runs. In such conditions, it was a big total.
But then, the bigger shock from the Dutch not wanting to Go Dutch was their bowlers like Logan van Beek taking wickets so beautifully. It was a sign that they have come into this World Cup not as free-loaders but having fought their way in through the qualifying.
This is the big difference. Netherlands, as the ICC addresses them as an official team, loved the pressure. Their captain had said he was not there for fun or exposure. In the end, they exposed South Africa, their seeming invincibility punctured.
It may be a few hours late to write about this match but the story on a macro view is how new teams are going to burst at the World Cup. Afghanistan have shown pluck and not depended on luck. Now, the Netherlands have come up with a script which will tell Europe and even nations in the Americas (North and South) that cricket can be adopted.
The advent of T20s has made people learn the white ball sport quickly. Teams from nowhere are now playing in T20 leagues. How do you rule out a nation like Nepal in the future? Then again, now that cricket is part of the 2028 Olympics programme, more nations will wake up. If cricket needed a boost for its popularity, teams like Afghanistan and the Netherlands have acted as catalysts.
These nations need more matches. There is nothing like a weak team or underdogs these days. If one ‘Scott Who’ has become a hero overnight, there are more waiting in the wings. People said that the T20 format was a breakthrough for smaller nations. To see them transition into winning sides in the ODI format is the bigger story.
Wanna Go Dutch? This is a phrase all of us have heard from our childhood days. On Tuesday in Dharamsala, the Netherlands were not willing to Go Dutch with…
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