At the Cricket World Cup in India, the Netherlands are giving a little bit of an opening to the ‘so Commonwealth’ sport.

The English, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans are excited about more than just rugby. Since October 5, another World Cup, cricket, has fascinated supporters, as well as supporters of other Commonwealth nations such as India or Pakistan, who have no interest in the oval ball. Competitions organized in India occurs in two phases : until November 12, all registered teams compete against each other before the top four teams advance to the semi-finals. The final is scheduled for November 19.

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Of the ten qualifying countries, only two are non-Commonwealth countries: Afghanistan and the Netherlands. The Dutch have the added distinction of being the only one not part of the twelve full members of the ICC, the highly respected International Cricket Council, the discipline’s governing body.

They owe their presence in the World Cup to 5th placee in its history – to the second place in the ICC Trophy in Zimbabwe in July. The performance is all the more remarkable because on this occasion three full ICC members failed to qualify: Ireland, the West Indies (the West Indies, a sort of Caribbean team) and the host nation.

Make no mistake: playing cricket in the Netherlands is not a fad. Its creation began at the end of the 18th century.e century and the beginning of the 19th centurye century, when British soldiers went during the Napoleonic wars. Until the end of the 19th century, it was more popular than football.e century before it became number onerecalls Roland Lefebvre, the former great player of the Netherlands, now the high performance manager of his national federation. The first club was established in 1875. Today there are 45, mostly in large cities in the west of the country such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. »

The proximity of some former Dutch colonies to former British colonies in the Caribbean also contributed to the spread of this batting sport in the land of tulips. “For example, Suriname is right next to Guyana. Saint-Martin is located in the center of the West Indiesrecalls Lefebvre. We have a player named Daniel Doram who is from St. Maarten even if he is not in this World Cup. »

Despite its status as a 14e The Netherlands has only 6,000 cricketers in the ICC World Rankings and no dedicated stadium. When they are lucky enough to take on the occasional large nation, the Federation builds temporary enclosures, “by 3500 wickets against Pakistan or by 7500 wickets against England”. “It is a dream to build a stadium, but at the moment it is not necessaryexplains Roland Lefebvre. When you are not a full member [du conseil], you don’t play often enough in the international test season. It would not be financially viable. »

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Georgie Collins

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