Holland welcome World Cup exposure

Holland will make sure that they are well placed to cash in on the exposure they will get during the World Cup.

Dutch cricket got plenty of media coverage around the world when the men in orange stunned England in the ICC World Twenty20 opener at Lord’s two years ago but the result caught the authorities in the Netherlands by surprise.

There were few long term benefits for Dutch cricket, either financially or in the recruitment of new players, but they are better prepared for this tournament.

Richard Cox, the chief executive of the Netherlands Cricket Board, has already helped to secure two lucrative sponsorship deals ahead of the World Cup and he is planning a series of business meetings with the top 40 companies in Holland throughout the competition.

“We want to make sure that we make the most of this opportunity to raise the profile of cricket in the Netherlands during the World Cup,” said Cox, a former director of cricket of the Warwickshire Cricket Board.

“We have already secured two excellent deals and with the euro still fairly stable here, we are looking to strengthen our links with the business community.

“When we beat England two years ago, cricket got a lot of media coverage in the week after the match but we didn’t really capitalise on it.

“We have already got plans in place to have cricket days at clubs across the country during the summer if we do produce another upset like the England result.

“At the moment we have around 6,600 cricketers in Holland, about 1,100 of them juniors, which is the equivalent of Yorkshire, I suppose. We need to get more youngsters into cricket.

” We have revamped the KNCB website and we will relaunch that next Monday to co-incide with the World Cup.”

Holland’s re-admission to the Clydesdale Bank 40 last season, their first involvement in a county competition for five years, gave them valuable competitive experience and Cox believes that the Dutch will not have a better chance of repeating their stunning win of two years ago than playing England first up.

“We know that England will want to redress the balance of Lord’s and prove that it was a one-off,” Cox said. “But as Canada proved in Wednesday’s warm-up game, it is possible for the smaller nations to push full member countries close.

“England are beginning to piece their side together again after the injuries they suffered in Australia so the best time to play them is first up. Once they hit their straps, England are going to be a formidable force in this competition.”

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