Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell looking forward to Nepal ODI games
On August 1st at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Nepal will play the first of two One Day Internationals. It will be Nepal's first ever ODI and the first one for the Netherlands since they lost ODI status in 2014. Sportskeeda caught up with the coach of the Netherlands, Ryan Campbell, to get his thoughts on the historic matches between his team and Nepal.
Both teams have benefitted from an improvement in form to achieve ODI status. The Netherlands won their status back when they won the 2015-17 World Cricket League Championship by three points from second placed Scotland. Nepal's eighth place in the recent Cricket World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe secured their status for the first time.
I asked Campbell whether official ODI status would change the approach to the match.
"Both teams will be desperate to win because they are both proud nations who want to show the world that they can compete at a high level. The fact that we both have ODI status now will be an added bonus."
The Netherlands have recently defeated Ireland, a full ICC member, in a T20I and Campbell is hopeful that this will augur well.
"We were fantastic against Ireland & the fact that we played so well with such a young team was pleasing. We are a long way from the completed package but winning against a full member is always a confidence booster."
Both teams have played each other several times over the last two years. There should not be any surprises for either team. In the World Cricket League, they shared one win apiece at the VRA Cricket Ground. The Netherlands bowled Nepal out for 94 in the first ODI game before quickly reaching the target in 16.5 overs. However, Nepal avenged the defeat just two days later when Paras Khadka's 94 and 2/19 helped secure a 19 run victory. Campbell was quick to recognise the ability of Nepal.
"We have always respected the Nepal team. In fact, it was them that inflicted one of only two losses we had in the WCL so we know what they are capable of."
Before the ODI matches in Amstelveen, the Netherlands and Nepal take part in a T20 Triangular Series with an MCC team which takes place at Lord's. I was interested in Campbell's views on having to adjust from T20 to ODI within the space of three days.
"It won’t have a big bearing as T20 is one of those games that anyone can beat anyone on any given day. What it will do is give us another look at some of the Nepalese players & how they go about their work. Swapping formats may cause some issues for us as we have not played any 50 over cricket since the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. In saying that though, our club cricket is all 50 over format so I would hope that we are more comfortable in that format than in T20."
Both teams failed to get out of their groups in the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers. They finished fourth in their respective groups and played each other in a 7th / 8th place play-off. The Netherlands won by 45 runs, with Roelof van der Merwe taking 4/20, at Kwekwe Sports Club.
Campbell had the chance to take a look at Nepal's spin king, Sandeep Lamichhane, in Zimbabwe. However, Campbell has coached Lamichhane during his time in Hong Kong with the Kowloon Cantons in the HK T20 Blast. Despite the Nepalese legspinner's growing reputation, Campbell does have a game plan to counteract the threat.
"I’ve had a bit to do with Sandeep so his emergence on the world stage is not a surprise. All of our players have watched a lot of vision of him but facing a good leggie is always full of challenges. We will be very positive against him and hopefully put him under enormous pressure."
Players like Peter Borren, Wesley Barresi, Roelof van der Merwe and Ryan ten Doeschate are all in their thirties and are retiring from international cricket. The Netherlands squad has a share of experienced players and future prospects so I wanted to know if Campbell felt that he had a balanced team.
"With the retirement of Peter Borren, Pieter Seelaar has stepped up to the captaincy role brilliantly. He is a different leader to Peter but that also is a good thing. We have focused 2018/19 on playing our youngsters and we will continue to do so. Guys like [Max] O’Dowd, [Scott] Edwards, [Bas] de Leede, [Fred] Klaassen and [Shane] Snater will continue to get opportunities at this level. This is something we are very excited about and it wouldn’t surprise me if you see a couple of more new faces!!"
Looking to next year and beyond, the Netherlands qualified for 2020-22 ICC ODI League as part of their World Cricket League win. The league features all 12 Full members plus the Netherlands with the top seven teams, plus India as hosts, qualifying for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. I was interested how the Netherlands would prepare themselves for the challenges ahead and if matches against Australia, England or India were possible future fixtures.
"With an entry into the new ODI League set down for 2020, playing against the best opponents possible is high up on our agenda. Getting those matches is always a tough ask but fingers crossed we will secure some big opponents in 2019. Our long-term goal is to reach our peak with this current crop of players in 2023. This would mean playing at the 2020 and 2021 T20 World Cups and being competitive in the ODI League. Hopefully, by then the ICC has come to their senses and extended the 50-over World Cup as well."
With regards to his own future, Campbell laid down a pragmatic outlook.
"I will continue to hopefully improve my skill set as a coach and lead the Dutch well. If this means other opportunities arise that can work in with that then brilliant. Coaching at these big events can only help me become a better coach."
Published 17 Jul 2018, 18:56 IST