The Sunday News
Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
THE Netherlands’ senior men’s national cricket team is in Zimbabwe ahead of the start of the three match One Day International (ODI) series against the Chevrons set to commence on Tuesday at Harare Sports Club.
Netherlands landed on Friday afternoon at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport as they prepare to face Zimbabwe in a series that will be a part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Super League. South Africa-born Roelof van der Merwe returned to the Dutch’s ODI squad and will be in line to play his first 50-over game for them since November 2021. Van der Merwe has played 16 ODIs in all,13 for South Africa as well as three for Netherlands and comes in after a successful T20 World Cup for the Dutch and SA20 in South Africa.
He was also part of the winning Sunrisers Eastern Cape side in the inaugural SA20 league and the all-rounder finished the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps in 10 games and was also Player-of-the-Match in the final. He has been unavailable for most of their recent ODIs due to his county commitments with Somerset.
After the three matches in Harare, scheduled for March 21, 23 and 25, the Dutch will head to South Africa where they will play two ODIs which will be played on March 31 and April 2 in Benoni and Johannesburg respectively.
However, head coach Ryan Cook will not be available for the tour due to commitments in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and will temporarily be replaced by Ryan van Niekerk. Netherlands also announced that former South Africa and Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo will be part of the coaching set-up alongside ex-South African international Heino Kuhn. Domingo resigned from his position as Bangladesh coach in December last year.
Zimbabwe and Netherlands are out of direct contention for the 50 over World Cup to be held in India later on this year and will be using the series as part of their preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers pencilled in for June in Zimbabwe, thus the tour is of paramount importance. Two teams from the competition will go through to the global showpiece in India in October.
The Chevrons named a full-strength squad for the series which will be bolstered by the return of five experienced players who missed the Test series against West Indies last month due to various reasons.
The five are Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara, Ryan Burl and Blessing Muzarabani.
Raza and Burl have been taking part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) respectively while the other three have been on the sidelines due to injury. Muzarabani last played international cricket in November after suffering a quadriceps muscle injury flare-up while Williams fractured a finger and Chatara picked up a thigh muscle injury during the white-ball series versus Ireland in Harare in January.
Zimbabwe: Gary Ballance, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine (captain), Bradley Evans, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams.
Netherlands: Scott Edwards (captain and wicketkeeper), Colin Ackermann, Musa Ahmad, Shariz Ahmad, Wesley Barresi, Tom Cooper, Aryan Dutt, Brandon Glover, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Ryan Klein, Bas de Leede, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Vikramjit Singh.
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