ICC Media Release
Sometimes teams buck the stereotypical view their country's sportsmen portray overseas. But if your image of the Denmark cricket team is one of tenacity, skill, mental strength and a hunger to succeed – a la the Henrik Larsen and Brian Laudrup-inspired Denmark soccer team that shocked everyone at the UEFA European Championships 1992 – then you might not be too far off the mark.
Traditionally Denmark cricket teams are tough competitors whose positive attitude secures victories from matches that looked like resulting in certain defeats and captain Freddie Klokker is determined his team will work hard and focus intently on the job at hand as it plots the realisation of its dream of reaching the ICC Cricket World Cup.
'We have obviously got to be realistic and will take one game at a time but we are going to South Africa with high hopes,' said Klokker.
'We have Afghanistan in our first game and if we can get a victory there and if we get another one in the second, we are looking to be in the Super Eight, and we will take it from there,' said the 26-year-old left-hander, who has experience of English county cricket with Derbyshire.
'We are very excited as it is the biggest tournament that Denmark will play since four years ago.'
At the ICC Trophy in 2005, it crashed to a 103-run defeat at the hands of Namibia, to finish eighth at the event, but Klokker is hopeful of a better finish in 2009 and believes that World Cup qualification would have a positive effect on the sport in Denmark.
'It will be massive as it will be the biggest achievement the country has ever done and it will be amazing,' he said.
'For us to do that it would boost the game, it would become popular, it would be coming in the news, and hopefully more and more young kids will start playing it.'
A key player for the Danes could be leg-spinner Bobby Chawla. His ten wickets at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 were a major part of Denmark reaching this ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
His 4-38 against Uganda helped seal a vital win to secure fourth place at the event and his tricky bowling will again be looked upon as an important source of wickets during the tournament. A veteran of the ICC Trophy in 2001 and 2005, where he took nine wickets, Chawla has a lot of responsibility to perform well at the event despite his relative youth at 26 years old.
A third-place finish at the European Championships in 2008, ahead of the Netherlands, showed the potential of the Danish side, with Ireland struggling to a five-wicket win in probably Denmark's best performance at the tournament. It also recorded a 21-run win over Uganda during the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 event in Namibia.
Klokker, who carried his bat for 99 not out against the UAE during that event, believes the fact few people expect Denmark to be a main contender at the tournament could work in its favour.
'When there is no expectation, you can play with a mentality that you have nothing to lose and can play a lot more freely,' he said.
'If we win the first two or three games in the competition, other teams will start taking notice and that will be a big boost for us.'
The side has prepared for the event with a training camp in Port Elizabeth and has the potential to be one of the surprise packages of the event.
Denmark (squad): Frederik Klokker (captain), Mickey Lund, Carsten Pedersen, Michael Pedersen, Morten Hedegaard Andersen, Thomas Hansen, David Borchersen, Henrik Hansen, Bobby Chawla, Max Overgaard, Rohit Kanaiya, Soren Vestergaard, Rizwan Mahmood, Basir Shah, Lars Hedegaard Andersen.