Home » Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland renew rivalry as lead-in to the World Cup

Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland renew rivalry as lead-in to the World Cup

SERIES PREVIEW

The series will serve as a warm-up for the coming 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup. © Getty

The Dutch international summer gets underway tomorrow at Voorburg under the shadow of a looming T20 World Cup, as European rivals Ireland and Scotland arrive to contest a six-match T20I trilateral series before the three sides head across the Atlantic. The series will serve a dual purpose as both a warm-up for the coming 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies, but also, depending on how this year’s World Cup unfolds, potentially a de-facto qualifier for the 2026 edition.

By happenstance the three teams find themselves, along with Zimbabwe and Namibia, locked in a race on the rankings table to secure direct qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka and India. Every match played at Voorburg could be potentially decisive in that race, and given continued uncertainty regarding the number of qualifying slots on offer at the next European regional qualifier, the series will be more than just a warm-up for the contenders.

It’s been almost five years since the three last met in this a trilateral T20 series of the sort which had looked set to become a regular feature of the European summer at the tail end of the 2010s. All three teams are under new leadership now, Scott Edwards having taken over the Dutch captaincy from Pieter Seelaar, Richie Berrington inheriting the Scottish armband from Kyle Coetzer, while Paul Stirling now leads Ireland into the series in his second stint as skipper, while Gary Wilson had been captain when the three sides last convened at Dublin in 2019.

Ireland claimed the honours at that encounter, while Scotland topped the table at the 2018 tri-series between the three. The Dutch have arguably had the most white-ball success in recent years however, notably securing direct qualification for this coming World Cup by finishing in the top eight of the 2022 edition, as well as being the sole associate to qualify for the most recent 50-over World Cup.

The hosts will be missing a few key names for this series however, with Roelof van der Merwe and Colin Ackermann remaining with their counties as they will be for the World Cup itself, while Fred Klaassen and Bas de Leede are also understood to be unavailable for at least part of the series. Ireland will be missing left arm quick Josh Little owing to IPL duty, while visa difficulties also forced the late withdrawal of Graham Hume to. Scotland meanwhile are resting Jack Jarvis and Brandon McMullen, who are understood to be nursing minor injuries. Otherwise the three will be at full strength for a final run-out before the World Cup with crucial ranking points on the line. They will need little additional motivation, however, as they renew a long and storied rivalry.

Initially scheduled to be held at VRA’s ground in the Amsterdamse Bos, the series was relocated (over VRA’s protests) to Voorburg CC’s Wesvliet ground near the Hague, owing to concerns as to how the drainage at VRA was dealing with an extraordinarily wet Spring. Voorburg’s hybrid wickets are thought to have held up better in the weather, though scores at the ground have been rather up and down. Almost 400 runs were scored in the latest club T20 match at the ground, though on evidence of the recent Pro-Series matches there’s plenty in it for the bowlers.

As it stands the forecast suggests we’ll be blessed with a brief break in the relentless rain to accommodate the series, with fair weather expected at least for the first half of the series. Things look rather unsettled for the back end however, with the rain expected to return mid-week.

Squads

Netherlands: Scott Edwards (c), Wesley Barresi, Daniel Doram, Aryan Dutt, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Vivian Kingma, Michael Levitt, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd, Tim Pringle, Vikramjit Singh, Logan van Beek, Paul van Meekeren, Bas de Leede*, Fred Klaassen*

Scotland: Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Brad Currie, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Jasper Davidson, Michael Leask, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Charlie Tear (wk), Mark Watt, Brad Wheal

Ireland: Paul Stirling (c), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker(wk), Ben White, Craig Young.

*limited availability

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