The KNCB has announced an intensive 25-day programme of men’s international fixtures for next summer, culminating in the Netherlands’ opening series in the new ICC Super League.
Pieter Seelaar’s men will take on Pakistan, currently sixth in the rankings, in a three-match ODI series at the VRA Ground in Amstelveen, running between 4 and 9 July.
As preparation for this crucial series, the start of a competition which will also see the Dutch host the West Indies, England and Ireland over the next eighteen months as well as playing Zimbabwe, South Africa, Afghanistan and New Zealand away, the KNCB has organised a quadrangular tournament against three ICC League 2 sides.
These matches will take place between 18 and 28 June, and will pit the Dutch against the USA, Namibia and Oman, who are currently 15th, 16th and 17th on the ODI rankings table. The Americans have also established themselves as early leaders in the League 2 competition.
The tournament will be played at four venues: Westvliet in Voorburg and Hazelaarweg in Rotterdam are well-established ODI grounds, but Excelsior’s Thurlede will see its first such match since the 2010 World Cricket League Division 1 competition.
And Kampong’s Maarschalkerweerd ground in Utrecht will become the Netherlands’ sixth ODI venue, having recently received recognition as such, sixteen years after hosting its first first-class match. Several women’s T20 internationals have also been played there, including the final of the 2018 Women’s World T20 qualifier.
This remarkable month of international cricket will be opened with a T20 International against New Zealand, who will visit the Netherlands for the first time since 1986.
The Black Caps, ranked sixth in this form of the game, will play a one-off match at VOC’s Hazelaarweg ground on Monday, 15 June, starting at 17:00.
All in all, it promises to be a feast of entertainment for Dutch cricket fans, and perhaps an opportunity for the KNCB to gain greater recognition for the sport in a country where it is too often pitifully neglected.