Netherlands U/19s can pack in a few surprises: Allema

Tue, Jul 14, 2009 3:13 PM

Stijn Allema, captain of the Netherlands U/19s, believes his team can cause a few upsets in the ICC European Championship U/19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier just like the senior Netherlands team which beat England in the opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 at Lord's.

The six-team event will take place from 14-19 July 2009 in Jersey with the leading two teams progressing to the global qualifier, which will take place in Canada in September this year.

How has the team prepared for the event?
Most of us have been training indoors all winter, whereas some have even been playing abroad during the winter. We had our regular training outdoors in the last weeks of summer and most of us played in the highest adult league in Netherlands from the beginning of May.

Who are your key players in the team?
Our key players are opening batsman Alexei Kervezee, professional at Worcestershire CCC, and bowler Tim Gruijters, who plays for the Warwickshire Academy. Both were part of the Netherlands squad in ICC World Twenty20 2009.

What have been your best games so far?
The Dutch Lions (youth teams under 13, 15, 17 and 19 ages) have quite often reached the second place of the ECC tournaments in the last few years.

How popular is cricket with youth in your country?
Cricket is pretty much unknown in the Netherlands, and we have had difficulties attracting young people to play cricket in the last ten years. But the sensational win of the senior squad in the opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 2009 against England has made a big impression in the media in the Netherlands.

Do you dream of playing in the World Cup?
We do dream of playing in the World Cup and like the senior team which surprised at Lord's, we might be able to surprise bigger countries like Ireland and Scotland. If we focus well, and be patient enough, we are able to beat them on a good day.

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