The timing is perfect, since the game will give most of the squad which plays Ireland in an Intercontinental Cup match at Malahide next week an opportunity to get back into long-format mode for the first time since they drew with Hong Kong back in January.
But it can also be a showcase for those who are on the verges of the full national side, and for emerging talents who have caught the eye of coach Ryan Campbell.
The most notable of these is 14-year-old lefthander Vikram Singh, who has gained a regular opening spot with VRA Amsterdam, and who plays in the Hurricanes’ side for the first time in this match. His opening partner here may well be Tonny Staal, one of two HCC players who, in defiance of geography and in the interests of team balance, will be playing for the Hurricanes. The other is Hidde Overdijk, now a well-established member of the Hurricanes squad.
The twelve-man Seafarers squad features a return for former international Berend Westdijk, who has been bowling well for HBS this season and who joins his club colleague Ferdi Vink in the side; their HBS teammate Tobias Viséé is another Hagenaar who will turn out for the Hurricanes.
A lively Seafarers pace attack will also include Voorburg’s Vivian Kingma, gradually returning from injury, as well as Rood en Wit’s Shane Snater, who was the spearhead during the one-day series earlier in the season.
The Hurricanes seam attack will include, apart from Overdijk, the VRA new-ball pairing of Quirijn Gunning and Fred Klaassen, backed up by Peter Borren’s medium pace and the spinning options of Mahesh Hans and Saqib and Asad Zulfiqar.
Spin bowling for the Seafarers will be provided by Voorburg leg-spinner Philippe Boissevain and VOC’s Max O’Dowd. The game will also give Stef Myburgh and Wesley Barresi for the Seafarers, and the Zulfiqar brothers, Ben Cooper, Borren and Visée for the Hurricanes, the chance to bat their way into multi-day form ahead of the Ireland encounter.
The Seafarers, who won the one-day series back in May, will be looking to add this three-day match to their tally, but also for revenge, having lost the inaugural three-day game to their opponents by 65 runs last season.
But the one threat to what could be an outstanding game of cricket is the weather: current forecasts suggest rain in Utrecht on all three days.
The teams are:
Peter Borren, Ben Cooper, Quirin Gunning, Fred Klaassen, Vikram Singh (all VRA), Mahesh Hans (Dosti United), Hidde Overdijk, Tonny Staal (both HCC), Tobias Visée (HBS), Asad Zulfiqar and Saqib Zulfiqar (both ACC).
Wesley Barresi (Quick Haag), Philippe Boissevain, Viv Kingma (both Voorburg), Dan ter Braak, Stef Myburgh (both Hermes-DVS), Max O’Dowd, Dirk van Baren (both VOC), Tim Etman, Roel Verhagen (both Excelsior ’20), Shane Snater (Rood en Wit), Ferdi Vink and Berend Westdijk (both HBS).