Netherlands always had the talent to compete with the best
Former Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell says he is delighted with the performance of his former side at the Cricket World Cup.
The Dutch sit 14th on the ICC’s ODI team rankings and sealed their place through a qualifying competition but have been the surprise packet of the tournament, defeating South Africa and Bangladesh, losing narrowly to Sri Lanka, and producing competitive performances against Pakistan and New Zealand.
Campbell, a former WA wicketkeeper who coached the Netherlands from 2017 to 2022, told Sports Breakfast he knew the team had the talent to mix it with the world’s best.
“I think, unfortunately, some coaches forget this, you’ve got to leave a place in a better position than when you started, that was always my goal,” Campbell said.
“When I look at that squad, I think 14 of the 15 were involved with me. I literally found them from all sorts of places, from under-15s and under-16s to blokes in different countries with Dutch passports, we pieced it all together.
“For them to do so well on the world stage, it’s great for cricket. I guess I’ve beat the drum for way too long about the Associates, having a ten-team World Cup really doesn’t add much to world cricket.
“Now that one of those ten teams is an associate, it’s shown the gap is closing. They just need opportunities.”
Campbell said the since-scrapped ODI Super League was a key factor in the team’s improvement and he hoped smaller nations would receive more support from the ICC in the future.
“You just don’t know what’s next. I know for a fact they don’t have any games scheduled after this World Cup,” he said.
“That’s the scary thing, what are they going to do to become a better team? It worries me.
“If you want to be the most participated sport in the world, it can’t just be England, Australia and India, it’s got to be about these smaller countries.
“They just need an opportunity and some cash, unfortunately. If they get that, they’ll close those gaps even further.”
Campbell, who represented Australia in five white-ball games and played for WA between 1994 and 2006, sent shockwaves through the cricket community when he suffered a cardiac arrest in England in May 2022.
After spending a week in an induced coma and being given a 7 per cent chance to live, Campbell said he had made a complete recovery.
“I get monitored quite often to make sure everything’s going well, but I’m 100 per cent back to work,” he said.
“Every day, I’m doing a bit of fitness. Drinking as many beers as normal, which is the most important thing!
“It was a massive scare for myself and for my family … you’ve always got one eye on making sure that you’re staying fit and healthy, but right now, everything’s going fantastic.”
IMAGE: The Cricketer