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Dhaka Tribune

CRICKET WORLD CUP

Dutch tired of being targets of jokes and laughs

In the Netherlands, where sports such as football and tennis dominate headlines, cricket still struggles to be taken seriously

Update : 24 Oct 2023, 10:22 PM

Netherlands fast bowler Logan van Beek said Tuesday that the Cricket World Cup giant-killers have had enough of the "jokes" and "laughing" at their expense.

The Dutch, who insist they harbor dreams of reaching the semi-finals, stunned South Africa, one of the tournament title favorites, last week.

That gave them a first win of the 2023 event and first in their history over a Test-playing nation at a 50-over World Cup.

However, back home in the Netherlands, where sports such as football and tennis dominate headlines, cricket still struggles to be taken seriously.

"I watched a Dutch sports show this morning and they were talking about cricket and laughing how it's pretty similar to a nine to five job, how long it takes, and they're making a few other jokes," said Van Beek.

"I hope that another of couple wins, they can almost stop joking about cricket in the Netherlands and they start talking seriously about how this is actually one of our best sports teams in the country."

Monday night in the Netherlands, presenters on a primetime TV talk show "Avondshow with Lubach", which boasts 1.2m viewers, joked the Dutch win over South Africa was bigger news "overseas than here."

The host added: "Suddenly I'm extremely proud about something I know absolutely nothing about!"

The pair also poked fun at the majority of the Dutch squad in India hailing from South Africa, New Zealand and the sub-continent.

New Zealand-born all-rounder Van Beek said he and his team were desperate to silence the critics.

"We want to inspire the next generation but also to change the narrative within the Netherlands," he said.

The 33-year old Van Beek and his team have suffered three defeats at the World Cup and Tuesday were sitting in eighth place in the 10-team tournament.

Defending champions England and 1996 winners Sri Lanka were below them.

The Dutch, who also stunned South Africa in the 2022 Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, take on five-time champions Australia in New Delhi Wednesday.

Van Beek insists the Dutch are capable of pulling off another upset.

"Why not? We've come here to reach the semi-finals. That's our goal," he said.

"It's been pretty clear throughout the whole preparation phase. And the South African win just gave us that extra belief that on our day we can still beat a good team."

The Dutch - ranked 14th in the world - reached India the hard way, coming through qualifying in Zimbabwe in the summer where they defeated two-time world champions the West Indies.

"So, there's the attention we're getting through our performances, through the style we're playing," said Van Beek, who played a key part with figure of 3/60 in the South African win.

"Hopefully, there's more investment into the game from a local point of view, but also international sponsors want to get behind the Netherlands team."

Van Beek says consistency and coach Ryan Cook's professionalism have been their hallmark of good performances.

"We don't leave out anything in terms of how hard we train or the analyst work that we do or the preparation we do in our recovery, everything. It's all consistent," said Van Beek.

"That stems from Cook, the way he goes about it. He's very professional, very organized and also, he's got this positive belief."

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