Quick Haag and ACC are both under new leadership this season, but will look to maintain their positions at the top end of the league.

After a hard-fought mid-table battle ACC managed to secure themselves the safety of fourth place in last season's Topklasse main phase, but with a somewhat depleted squad they would do well to repeat the performance this year.

Young Saqib Zulfiqar will take over the reins this season, becoming the league's youngest captain at the age of just 20, though he will have veteran all-rounders Usman Malik and father Ahmed Zulfiqar to turn to for counsel. It's testament to the Amsterdam club's faith in their youth, though also to an extent of a missing generation, that the pair are the only players in ACC's first XI over the age of 25.

Neither seam all-rounder JP de Villiers nor wicketkeeper Mangi Mosehle the two overseas players in 2016 will be returning to het Loopveld this season and as yet no replacements have been announced. ACC are understood to be in talks to fill the now-traditional ACC South African wicketkeeper slot after Morne van Wyk pulled out due to injury, but will be making do with at most one overseas for 2017.

The continued improvement of the Zulfiqar triplets ensures that ACC have a solid core around which to build a team, Asad having matured into a obstinate if unspectacular opener amassing almost 400 runs last season at an average of over 30, and seam-bowling all-round Sikander already on the fringes of national selection. But ACC's new captain and his brothers will have to acclimatise quickly to the role of senior players, as the next generation - youth graduates Sean Walsh, Beau te Boekhorst and Jim Dukker - are still finding their feet at Topklasse level.


Also under new leadership this season are Quick Haag, with Skipper Tim Gruijters having seemingly settled in New Zealand for the time being, Jeroen Brand takes over captain's duties. Despite narrowly missing out on a spot in the finals for the first time in four years, Quick will be glad to depend on a largely unchanged side. Other than Gruijters' departure, they look a fairly settled outfit.

Last season's overseas players Ryan Cartwright and Stephen Kriel won't be back, but new signings in Boland's pace all-rounder Jean Bredenkamp and Northerns under 19s quick Jovuan van Wyngaardt provide near like-for-like replacements. Gruijters' absence nonetheless leaves something of a gap in the line-up, his 508 runs at 30 topping the run aggregates for his club last season.

Much of that responsibility will fall to Quick's 2nd top-scorer in 2016 Dutch national team keeper Wesley Barresi. Barresi will likely open the batting together with Bob van Gigch, who will look to repeat his fine 2016 season, with all-rounders Brand, Geert-Maarten Mol and Lesley Stokkers making up an experienced if occasionally fragile middle order.

Together with the two fast-bowling coaches, this wealth of all-rounders ensures Brand will not lack for seam options, and with sometime international prospect Thijs van Schelven and the improving youth graduate Asief Hosienbaks making up the spin section the Quick attack looks more than capable.

Another run to the finals would be within Quick's grasp were there a final to run to in the new format, but at least anything less than a top-four finish would be a disappointment.

 

Previous previews: Hermes and HCC, VOC and VRA, HBS and Punjab.