Whatever the vicissitudes experienced by the Dutch men’s team during the 2010s, they are insignificant by comparison with the problems faced by the women.

Women’s cricket is, of course, extremely small in the Netherlands: by the 2019 season the 40-over competition had been reduced to just six teams, with nine taking part in the T20 Cup.

In total, there are fewer than 150 senior women players, with an even smaller number of girls playing in the KNCB’s youth competition.

Nor do the women have the option of augmenting the national side with foreign-born Dutch passport-holders; an experiment in that direction in 2011-12 was not conspicuously successful, and it has not been repeated.

The defining moment for the national women’s team was probably the loss of ODI status in November 2011, the consequence of defeat by Ireland in the final match of the Women’s World Cup qualifier. Since then, the side has been largely restricted to T20 cricket and the ECB one-day county competition.

This was, unfortunately, exacerbated by a flurry of retirements, which led to a wholesale reconstruction of the side in 2014-15.

The loss of players like Helmien Rambaldo, Marloes Braat and Denise Hannema would have been difficult at any time, but in this case the result was a young and desperately inexperienced team, which struggled to find its feet on the international stage.

The Dutch women still won as many 40-over games as they lost in the 2015 county championship, and their results have gradually improved, without ever approaching the side’s unbeaten record in the 2013 season.

Over the past three years, they have won twelve of their 16 championship matches, losing just four.

The competition in international matches has been a good deal tougher: in the 2015 Women’s T20 qualifier in Bangkok, with a side which included nine teenagers and had an average age of 20, the Netherlands went through the tournament without a win, finishing last.

And while this does not tell the whole story – they lost to Zimbabwe by two runs and to Papua New Guinea by one wicket, both matches going to the final delivery – it was a clear indication that the Dutch women were being overtaken by emerging nations around the world.

Things were, if anything, even worse when they hosted the next qualifier in 2018, again finishing without a win and after defeat by Uganda in the plate semi-final losing the play-off for seventh to the UAE in a super over.

But here, too, the decade ended with signs of a slight up-turn: buoyed by the return of Denise Hannema-van Deventer and Leonie Bennett, the side beat Namibia and the USA, finishing sixth overall.

It is still a very young team, its average age just 22, but batter Sterre Kalis and wicketkeeper Babette de Leede, just 16 when they played in Thailand, have both turned 20 and are already seasoned internationals, while behind them younger players like Hannah Landheer and Iris Zwilling are beginning to come through.

Kalis, indeed, has attracted international attention: she was named in the ICC Women’s Global Development squad in 2017 and 2018, and her unbeaten 126 against Germany in the 2019 European T20 qualifier equalled the record for a Women’s T20 International.

These developments have not been entirely accidental. The Dutch Lionesses programme, launched ten years ago as a way of breaking young female cricketers’ relative isolation in their clubs, has given a generation of girls the opportunity to train together and to play in youth tournaments in England, and the youngsters now making their way in the national side have all benefited from those chances.

But the playing pool remains dreadfully small, and the KNCB’s attempts to expand the girls’ and women’s game have at best halted a decline which at one point threatened the extinction of this sector of cricket altogether.

In the end, as in so many things, it all comes back to the clubs: with only a handful of the KNCB’s members able to sustain a women’s team and girls for the most part a tiny minority in their youth programmes, it will take a major cultural shift – not least among the clubs with a predominantly Asian background – to give the women’s game the place in the sun it deserves.