Dutch kick off T20 preparations

After having made it to the preliminary stages of the World T20 scheduled in India next month, the Netherlands kicked off their preparations for the biennial event here at the Alur grounds. 

The Anton Roux-coached side arrived here on February 18 for a 12-day camp. The Netherlands were joint winners of the ICC World T20 qualifiers along with Scotland, after the final was washed out due to rain. Their title-winning performance gave them an entry to the first stage of the World T20, where they are placed in Group ‘A’ alongside Bangladesh, Ireland and Oman. Top two teams from the two preliminary groups move into the Super-10 stage. 

Ahead of their opener against Bangladesh on March 9 at Dharamsala, the Netherlands are upbeat about their chances. “We are preparing well here and the facilities provided by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) have been great,” said Ed van Nierop, the team manager. 

Van Nierop however said the team was disappointed that the ICC didn’t grant them permission to practice at Dharmasala, where they will be playing both their group games.

“The conditions here at Bengaluru and up north at Dharmsala are different. The ICC denied us permission stating that teams cannot practice at the match venues. But Ireland and Bangladesh have been given permission to train there and we are disappointed that we weren’t given the opportunity,” he said. 

The camp will finish on February 29 and they will head to Mohali, where they will play two practice games -- against Afghanistan and Scotland, on March 4 and 6 respectively.  The team is led by Peter Borren and they had an impressive run at the previous edition of the event in Bangladesh two years ago, defeating Ireland en route their entry to the Super 10 stage. 

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