Gruijters hopes to repeat Dutch success

Wed, Aug 26, 2009 12:40 PM

Gruijters hopes to repeat Dutch success
Tim Gruijters, the skipper of the Netherlands U19 side, is hoping his side can be inspired by the performances of the senior team and qualify for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

Gruijters, who was part of the squad that defeated England in June at Lord's during the ICC World Twenty20 2009, leads a strong team to the qualifying event in Toronto that begins on 1 September.

How has the team prepared for the event?

Since the European U19 Championships in Jersey, most players have participated in training sessions with the national Dutch side whenever possible. All players have also played for their own clubs and also maintain their own fitness schedules.

How popular is cricket with youth in your country?

Cricket is a minority sport in our country with tennis being a major summer sport. There are about 15 clubs in the Netherlands that have youth teams ranging from the U9 to the U18 level.

Do you dream of playing in the U19 World Cup?

Absolutely! After qualifying in the European U19 Championships in Jersey, who wouldn't?

The Netherlands was placed third in the regional qualifying event in 2008 and this year the Netherlands qualified from the Europe region along with Ireland for the Global Qualifier. Do you believe the team has what it takes to qualify for the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand?

Losing our captain (Stijn Allema) was a big blow. He was also our wicket-keeper and a fine opening batsman. But it is a team game and I think we also have a good chance of qualifying.

How much of an inspiration was the performance of the Dutch team at the ICC World Twenty20 2009 to young players in the Netherlands?

Personally it was a great inspiration to see the senior side performing well, and I believe we are also capable of causing such upsets at the U19 level.

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