Netherlands caused one of the biggest shocks in cricket's history defeating England in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, and more recently, beat Bangladesh in an ODI in July 2010. Dutch captain Peter Borren is confident his team can also cause some upsets in the World Cup despite being in a difficult group. Borren also says there is a positive environment in the squad where everyone will try to get results and express themselves. Borren picks out Alexei Kervezee as the player to watch in the Netherlands squad. Excerpts from an interview with Yahoo! Cricket:
This is the Netherlands' fourth appearance in the ICC World Cup. What are the expectations for the Dutch team from the 2011 World Cup?
We are going with some preparation. We have a talented team and we can cause some upsets during the tournament. As cliche goes we will take it game by game. Obviously at this stage our main target is to reach the second round. If we get to the quarter-finals it will be fantastic.
Netherlands caused one of the biggest shocks in cricket's history defeating England in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, and more recently, beat Bangladesh in an ODI in July 2010. Have these results infused confidence among the players that they can compete with the stronger teams?
Absolutely. There is no doubt that we don't get opportunities against top teams always. Whenever we get a couple of opportunities, we need to make most of it. The real plus now is the confidence in the team. We have caused a few upsets, there is no doubt we can do it again. At the end of the day it will be a challenge because we don't play opposition of this quality that often. But we have got the confidence that we have a capable batting line-up which can take on the quality attacks from around the world.
The squad includes six players who will be playing in their first World Cup and an uncapped player in Berend Westdijk. Will this inexperience be a disadvantage for Netherlands in the 2011 CWC?
I don't think six players is an awful lot. Lots of teams have players who will be playing in a World Cup for the first time. We also have nine guys who have played in a World Cup. We have a reasonable mix of youth and experience. It is not a serious problem.
Tom Cooper and Ryan Ten Doeschate have already established themselves as players of repute in their respective domestic stints in Australia and England respectively. How important is it for Netherlands that these two are in form heading into and during the World Cup?
There is no doubt that they are big players for us. We are hoping that they will contribute a lot. They have been playing domestic cricket in Australia, which is at a very good level. I hope they will fit in right away and will come after scoring some good runs. We also have plenty of other guys who can step up. We have had a very decent preparation. The team is here in Dubai three weeks in advance. Then we have atleast four warm up games plus nets before the tournament. The key is that this is a 11-man game, we are not relying on two or three guys. Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Cooper are very good players. But we have got plenty of good players in the side.
Who are the other key players in Netherlands' squad who can be expected to make an impact on the 2011 World Cup?
Everyone will hear a lot about Alexei Kervezee. He plays for Worcestershire in English county cricket. This will be his second World Cup. He played the last at the age of 16. He has developed into a very classy player. I have no doubt one day he will become a world class player. He is the player to watch out.
Are you happy with the balance of the squad?
Absolutely happy. We have got experienced player and a few youngsters. At the end of the day, we have to do what we can. The side is keen to do a good job. We have 15 guys who work together. There is a positive environment in the squad where everyone will try to get results, express ourselves and hopefully create some upsets.
How well has the squad been able to train for the World Cup considering that several of the players are not full-time professional cricketers?
That's not easy. But what we have is the commitment in the squad. Even if the guys who are not full time cannot make it, they inspire with their work ethic. We have 9-10 players who work or study. They try hard to find time to train for five sessions a week. Whether it is early in the morning or late at night, they train. That says a lot about their commitment, which helps our team. The guys work bloody hard to get to this level and also make a lot of sacrifices. I know it is not ideal, but it works for us as we have fantastic camaraderie in the squad.
What is the support and infrastructure for Cricket like in Netherlands, considering football and hockey are two of the more popular sports in your country?
There is absolutely no doubt that football and hockey are massive sports in Netherlands, cricket is a minor sport. We have a committed bunch of hardcore supporters. It is a developing sport. It would be great if more people become aware of cricket. We are all really trying hard. Our performances as a national team is really important to gain some exposure for the sport in Netherlands.