Collingwood keen to avoid repeat of Dutch upset at World Cup

Sun, Aug 22, 2010 12:49 PM

Collingwood keen to avoid repeat of Dutch upset at World Cup
England's ICC World Twenty20 winning captain Paul Collingwood has warned his side of complacency ahead of its ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 campaign.

Speaking six months ahead of his side's opening match against the Netherlands, Collingwood spoke of the threat the Dutch pose in Nagpur on 22 February.

"While many may consider the opening match of an ICC Cricket World Cup against an Associate country a relatively easy task, I can assure you the England team won't be taking its opening encounter with the Netherlands lightly.

"Having come up against them in our first-ever ICC World Twenty20 match at Lord's in 2009 only to lose on the last ball of what was a thrilling match, we know only too well the dangers Associate countries can pose," said Collingwood, who was in charge of England for that infamous defeat.

Collingwood, whose side will also take on India, Ireland, South Africa, Bangladesh and the West Indies in group stages, believed his team will face some tough matches if it has to progress to the quarter-final stage of the competition.

"To underestimate any team at a World Cup is foolish given the commitment and desire every team displays when representing their nation in a global tournament," he said.

"Ironically, we'll be facing the Netherlands again in our opening match of the 2011 World Cup and it's a match both teams will very much be looking forward to. It's important to get off to a winning start in such an important tournament and we certainly won't be taking the opposition lightly given our previous encounter."

Dutch coach Peter Drinnen said his side was capable of surprising any of the top sides and has targeted a spot in the quarter-final for his team.

"It is a massive opportunity for all of us, players and support staff, to enjoy something that only comes around occasionally and hopefully compete very successfully on one of the biggest stages possible. Hopefully we can turn over one or two of one of the bigger teams and hopefully progress. It can't come round quick enough for us," he said.

Skipper Peter Borren also believed the work done by the Gatorade ICC High Performance Programme since the last ICC Cricket World Cup will ensure that the Associate sides have a better chance than ever before of competing against the Full Members.

"The Netherlands side travelling to the World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011 will be the best prepared Netherlands team to attend a World Cup," he said.

"Associate cricket has come a long way since the last tournament in semi-professionalising the player structure. The biggest bonus for us is the fact that we have a full-time coach who is not only employed full-time but is fully committed to giving us the best opportunities possible."

Although Collingwood admitted that the focus of his side in the coming months will be on the Ashes trip to Australia, he maintained the squad will be ensuring that it keeps its ICC Cricket World Cup preparations in the forefront of their minds.

"The next six months are vitally important for our preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup. We obviously have a highly anticipated Ashes series to look forward to later this year but we certainly have an eye on next year's World Cup as well. This winter presents us with a number of exciting challenges and I know every member of the England One-Day squad is looking forward to that first match of the tournament in Nagpur," he said.

Collingwood also revealed that he was excited about having the opportunity to play in an ICC Cricket World Cup tournament in Asia.

"The subcontinent holds fond memories for a lot of our players who have toured there numerous times before. The passion and enthusiasm of the cricketing public in countries like India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is second to none and I've no doubt this will only add to the excitement and atmosphere of the tournament," he said.

Similarly, Dutch skipper Borren can't wait for the event to begin and experience the unique atmosphere of playing in an ICC Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

"I am really looking forward to going to the World Cup. Limited overs cricket has found its home in India and on the subcontinent and it is a fantastic opportunity for all the guys," said Borren.

"It will be the highlight of our careers to play a World Cup in India - it doesn't get any better than that. The energy and passion for cricket in that part of the world is something we can draw inspiration from and hopefully we can go and compete well and go and cause a few upsets."

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