Let’s check out overall performance of Netherlands in the last T-20 world cup held in Bangladesh in 2014.
In qualification round they had won two of their three matches and book their seat in Super Ten round. One of those matches was against Ireland. They had to win the match in 14-over to qualify for the next round over Ireland and they did it superbly, in fact, the Dutch batsmen chased down 193-run in just 13.5 over.
In the round of super ten they beat England by 45 runs (England was able to manage only 88-run while chasing 133). They also had a nail-biting match against mighty South Africa though they lost it by 6 runs.
Now in this T20 World Cup, Netherlands found themselves out of the tournament just after playing one match against Bangladesh which they lost by 8-run and the another one against Oman was washed out.
Bangladesh, after their stunning performance in T20 Asia Cup, is undoubtedly the favorite in this group. We (Bangladeshis) are really happy finding ourselves in the top of the table and put a step on the next round. But at the same time I am feeling sorry for Netherlands. Normally they (like other associate members of ICC) do not get the opportunity to play more and this time they could not even play their three matches perfectly.
After the abandoned match between Oman-Netherlands, in the post-match press conference Netherlands captain Peter Borren said, “It’s really not enough for us. It would be better if we could move through the next round, but we could not. Now we will have to wait another four years for the next World Cup. I’m getting old, but we have some promising player in our team. They should have the opportunity to develop their skills. How it will be if we do not have the opportunity to play the game more?”
Does ICC hear this appeal of a skipper of an associate member country? No, is the answer. If they do, they would take necessary steps to spread the game throughout out the whole world rather than limiting it to some selective countries. Now it’s clear to everyone that ICC is too much concerned about making money rather than the development of the game. Our beloved game Cricket will not survive in this way. Champions Trophy has already been shifted to eight and it is considering the World Cup to arrange among ten teams only. No one is thinking about its impact.
Usually the test playing nations do not like to host the associate members and playing against them. The associate members hardly find an opportunity to play against the big fish, after introducing the new rating system this will decrease more.
Honestly speaking, I do not want Bangladesh to play against lower ranked team. Because winning against lower ranking teams does not increase much, but losing to them reduces the number of rating points. In this way it will be threatened for the Champions Trophy or for a place in the World Cup. Thus the opportunity of the associate members to play sufficient game is decreasing.
It is only happening due to the commerce-oriented thinking of ICC. Just think about the soccer world cup, 32 countries participated though in group stage most the matches are less competitive and not eye catching. However, FIFA doesn’t reduce the number of teams in world cup. Instead, FIFA is trying to arrange sufficient matches for the participants in pre-qualifying round. But ICC is walking on the opposite track. The apex body of Cricket is reducing the number of teams in World Cup and obviously it will frustrate all the cricket playing nations as their opportunity to play in world stage is reducing.
It’s high time for ICC to sit back and give a second thought about their course of plan and decisions to keep Cricket alive. They have to understand that no product can survive for long in a contracted market. Market should be enlarged for the sake of products.
At present, many cricket playing nations due to the stubbornness of the ICC will not be able to encourage and flourish Cricket in their country or don’t manage enough time to develop the cricket culture. If a country does not have the chance to play in world stage, why they will play the game?
BDST: 1430 HRS, MAR 13, 2016