Although the Netherlands are not well known for their cricket, they do have a professional cricket team, and a very strong one at that. What’s more, they have appeared in many of the biggest International tournaments, and in their 150 year history they have competed against and beaten many top cricketing nations.
Although several sports surpass cricket in the Netherlands in terms of popularity, this is still a big sport and it has been estimated that there are more than 6,000 players of the game, both at a professional and amateur level. It has been one of the major sports since the 1860s, although they haven’t shared the same passion for this game as nations like India, Pakistan and even England.
Ryan ten Doeschate holds the Dutch record for the most runs, with all of these coming between 2006 and 2011. This is a very short period for a player who finds himself at the very top of the rankings for Most ODIs, but with a count of just 1541, this record is there to be broken. In second place, Eric Szwarcznski began his career during the same year as Ryan ten Doeschate, but he finished three years later and notched a total that was more than 400 runs shy of his teammate.
Ryan ten Doeschate was impressive on both sides of the crease, and he holds the record for taking the second most ODI wickets, at 55. The top wicket taker is Mudassar Bukhari, who retired from the game in 2014 and, like Szwarcznski, played the game for a few years longer than ten Doeschate.
The record for the most runs during a single innings is held by Wesley Barresi, who scored 137 against Kenya in 2014. Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk managed just a few less than this, scoring 134 against Namibia in 2003, with Feiko Kloppenburg managing 121 during the same series, holding third place on the list for this particular record.
On the bowling side of things, Timm van der Gugten and Pieter Seelaar both scored impressive averages during a series against Canada in 2013, and as is the case with many records, Ryan ten Doeschate is also on this list.
The Netherlands have struggled to qualify for the ICC World Cup on many occasions. They did not participate in the very first World Cup, and they then failed to qualify for the next four. Their first qualification came in 1998, but they failed to make it beyond the group stage. After another missed attempt to qualify in 1999, they played in three successive World Cups, not making it beyond the group stage of any of them. Their performances in some of these were better than their first attempt in 1996 though. They won one of their games in the 2003 competition and they also beat Scotland in 2007 to finish away from the bottom of the group.
To progress beyond the group stage requires them to beat one of the game’s best ranked teams, and this is something that the Netherlands have failed to do so far. The same applies in the World Twenty20, although they only qualified for two events between 2007 and 2016, making it to the Super 10 in 2014, which was one of their best ever tournament performances.
The Netherlands have had better luck in the ICC Trophy, which is how they qualified for the World Cup, and they won this event in 2001, and in 1998 they also won the European Championship. Their Test form has also been solid, particularly in the modern era. In 2015, for instance, they beat Nepal, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Kenya and Namibia, making light work of most of them.
The Netherlands are on the fringes of the best teams in the world and they seem to be considerably better than many of the other lower ranked teams. This puts them in an awkward position, as they can enjoy considerably success in Europe when not playing England, and they don’t have an issue qualifying for the World Cup, but when they are asked to take things up a level, they struggle.
Still, they are a very respected team, and as they find themselves playing against the best of the best in many ODIs and Tests, they will earn even more experience, whilst also elevating the game of cricket in the Netherlands.