Tough times ahead for Dutch cricket

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2014

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Canterbury-raised Netherlands captain Peter Borren has fears for the country's cricketing future after their failure to qualify for next year's World Cup.

The Netherlands were one of the favourites for the qualifying tournament, which is being staged in New Zealand, but they were unable to progress to the Super Six stage after finishing with a two win-two loss record in group play.

It will be the first time the Dutch have not featured at the one-day international World Cup since 1999.

Borren, who also captained the Netherlands at the 2011 event, said the team were bitterly disappointed by their inconsistent play and was worried about the ramifications it would have on the game back home.

The all-rounder said the Netherlands' players were effectively full-time professionals and their inability to qualify for the World Cup meant there would be a major drop-off in funding and sponsorship.

The Netherlands could also suffer a double blow if they lose their one-day international status, which they have held since 2006.

"It's hard to underestimate the impact it's going to have. It's going to be massive. We don't know exactly what the consequences are, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be good," Borren told The Press.

"I think this is going to be a big knock for it. We're going to struggle for funding."

Borren said the short nature of the World Cup qualifying tournament meant teams needed to fire from the outset. He admitted it was frustrating they had been unable to take control of games at important stages like in last Thursday's loss to Kenya, where they dropped a couple of vital catches.

"It's not a long tournament. We've just had two bad days out of four. You just can't afford it.

"In the end, you could look at so many things in those games that would have made a big difference and got us through."

The 30-year-old Borren grew up in Christchurch, playing cricket for the Weedons club and Canterbury Country. He won the Hawke Cup twice with Canterbury Country, which he looked back on with fond memories.

Borren was a member of a talented New Zealand under-19 team, also containing Black Caps Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder, that competed in the 2002 Youth World Cup on home soil. He was the side's top wicket-taker with nine scalps at an average of 23.

Shortly after the Youth World Cup, Borren made the move to the Netherlands, the birthplace of his father, Pim. For the past decade, he has played for the VRA Amsterdam club - one of the most successful teams in the Dutch league. He tries to travel back to Christchurch for a few weeks each year, where the majority of his family live.

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Borren played in the 2007 and 2011 ODI World Cups, tasting victory against Scotland in 2007 - just the Netherlands' second win in the history of the event.

His crowning glory in the orange shirt came in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup when the Netherlands stunned England at the home of cricket - Lord's - winning off the last ball. Borren shared in a crucial 50-run partnership with Tom de Grooth and whacked a massive six off English medium-pacer Paul Collingwood.

"It was fantastic at Lord's in front of a packed house," Borren recalled.

"It was awesome. The whole night was a bit of a buzz for us. It's one I won't forget. It was really cool."

Today's Super Six games:

Hong Kong v Namibia at Rangiora Oval

Kenya v United Arab Emirates at Hagley Oval

Papua New Guinea v Scotland at Bert Sutcliffe Oval

- The Press

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