Netherlands kicks off tour of UAE, India
The Netherlands cricket team has arrived in Dubai for a month-long tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India.
One of the top ranked Associate Member (AM) countries, the Netherlands is training at the world-class facilities in Dubai of the ICC Global Cricket Academy (ICC GCA) in preparation for three one-day matches against UAE teams before travelling to India, where it will play three matches against the England Performance Programme Squad and two against a Mumbai XI.
Netherlands receives assistance from the ICC's dedicated High Performance Programme (HPP), which provides targeted support to high performing AMs.
The side is planning ahead for an important year of international cricket.
At the team's practice session on Tuesday, Netherlands captain Peter Borren said: "This tour will be a great experience for our squad. We played against Bangladesh in July and drew the T20I series 1-1, and we are really looking forward to continuing to increase the number of international matches we play.
"Not only are these matches ideal preparation for our World Cricket League Championship and Intercontinental Cup fixtures in 2013, but they will provide valuable experience as we work towards qualification for both the ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, and the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015."
Netherlands will take on fellow AM Namibia in round five of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Championship and the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013 in April 2013, before taking part in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in November.
The side previously qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009, when it famously beat England by four wickets in the opening match of the tournament at Lord's, with Ryan ten Doeschate and Edgar Schiferli running a frantic two off the last ball to seal victory after England's Stuart Broad missed a run-out opportunity.
The ICC's High Performance Manager Richard Done said: "An objective of the HPP is to facilitate more competitive international opportunities for the top AMs, particularly against Full Member opposition. The Netherlands is therefore to be congratulated for its initiative in arranging this tour."
The Netherlands' squad of twenty players includes six youngsters who are travelling for the first time with the senior Dutch men's side. Four of the youngsters are complete newcomers, including promising 15-year-old spin bowler Daniel Doram.
Doram hails from the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean, and turned heads in the Netherlands last year when he claimed four wickets for 29 for VOC in his debut Topklasse match.
Other young newcomers include Rahil Ahmed (wicketkeeper-batsman, 18-years-old), James Gruijters (batsman, 19-years-old) and Michael Rippon (left-arm spinner, 20 -years-old). Gruijters will be joining his older brother, 21-year old opening batsman Tim, in the squad.
Borren is pleased with the number of young players in the team, saying: "This month-long tour will provide a great opportunity for our emerging players to develop their skills against quality opposition and in a variety of conditions."
The Netherlands squad is as follows:
Rahil Ahmed, Wesley Barresi, Shahbaz Bshir, Peter Borren, Sebastiaan Braat, Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Daniel Doram, Tom de Grooth, Tim Gruijters, James Gruijters, Tom Heggelman, Alexei Kervezee, Ashan Malik, Paul van Meekeren, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski and Vinoo Tewarie