With no home fixtures scheduled for the Netherlands this season in either the Intercontinental Cup or the World Cricket League Championship it had seemed as if Dutch cricket supporters might have to content themselves with watching six visiting teams contesting the European Division 1 T20 competition, but the KNCB announced yesterday that the United Arab Emirates would play three one-day matches against the Dutch side in July.

The games, to be played on 10, 12 and 13 July at venues which have still to be finalised, will also provide new national coach Ryan Campbell with an opportunity to give his players a work-out ahead of their visits to Ireland in August for an Intercontinental Cup match and, more importantly, their WCL Championship encounters with Kenya and Namibia later in the year.

The Emiratis, who are currently languishing near the bottom of both the ICup and WCL Championship tables, last visited the Netherlands in 2012, when they drew a rain-ruined ICup match and lost both their games in the Championship.

But they helped the Dutch cause in the current competition enormously last month by beating Papua New Guinea in the first of their two WCL matches, and proved that this was not a fluke by going on to win a third, unofficial game and take the series 2-1.

The side still has an outside chance of reaching the top four in the WCL Championship, and thus qualifying for next year’s World Cup qualifier.

The international season will actually kick off this Saturday, when a KNCB XI will take on Belgium in a warm-up game at the VRA Ground in the Amsterdamse Bos.