History is written by the victors, but in the case of Windmills, Dykes and Wides, it also to its credit records the losses, and glorious failures.
Authors Krijn Vrolijk and Jacob-Jan Esmeijer went behind the scorecards, and got the real story of 11 famous matches spanning a period of 55 years.
The passion of not only the authors but also of those they interviewed shine throughout, and this is a warts and all book, with shortcomings highlighted as well as cricketing brilliance.
The evolvement of the Netherlands team from a purely amateur set-up to an increasingly professional one is a pathway I can clearly identify with. You canít help but wonder just how many more famous wins would have been secured if just some of the finance and preparation had been available to the earlier sides packed full of talent.
The book is a must-read for any cricket fan. Especially those who champion the cause of Associate cricket. Who doesnít love it when David takes on Goliath, and wins?
Bank manager Ruud Onstein, whom I got to know through his scoring endeavours for the national side, hitting a six in the last over to beat the Australians in 1964 is my favourite chapter in the book. The modesty of Ruud is incredible Ė never once in his company did he recount his exploits. Put in a similar position Iím not sure I would have been equally as restrained!
I loved the behind the scenes insights, the confidence/arrogance of Jeroen Smits sledging Tendulkar, the near-electrocution of the Pakistan team in a swimming pool, and the celebrations after beating England at Lordís in 2009.
The book could have mixed up its photography more. While the photos used are excellent, it would have been better for some images from the matches themselves to give a then and now look.
However, like many of the teams who played in the matches featured, I appreciate that Getty Images donít come cheaply and there are budgets. Still, when Daan van Bunge talked about putting into his motherís coffin a photo of him celebrating a World Cup half century, it would have been a powerful image to have.
The most uncomfortable chapter for me to read was the incredible run chase in Sylhet in 2014, when Stephan Myburgh played the innings of his life to surpass Irelandís 189 with six overs to spare.
I was there and rarely have I witnessed such an exhibition of clean hitting. It was fascinating to read of his belief and confidence. Another example of just how much cricket is played in the mind.
The players featured in the book read like a whoís who of Netherlands cricket, with as well as those already mentioned, Steven Lubbers, Paul-Jan Bakker, Robert van Oosterom, Reinout Scholte, Henk-Jan Mol, Victor Grandia, Tim de Leede, Feiko Kloppenburg, Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk, Tom de Grooth, Wesley Barresi, Bas Zuiderent, Peter Borren, Pieter Seelaar and Tobias Visťe making contributions.
There is a nice flow to the book with the authors light-hearted style making it an enjoyable journey through the highs and lows of the national team. Definitely recommended!
You can find more details of the book and how to purchase it by visiting https://www.windmills-dykes-and-wides.nl/