Cricketer Bas de Lied on the World Cup: ‘We no longer have to fight to survive’

Cricketer Bas de Lied on the World Cup: 'We no longer have to fight to survive'

The UAE national football team has never won a match in the 20th World Championship, the short game of cricket. This statistic gave little hope to the Dutch players last Thursday, who no longer had their hands on qualification for the next round after losing to Sri Lanka. The Emirates had to defeat Namibia, and only then would the Netherlands continue to the World Cup in Australia. “I lost all the emotion that day for the rest of the year,” says international Bas de Lied (22). “I walked all the way to the end” Up and down. But the UAE held out and unexpectedly awarded the Netherlands one of the four remaining cards for the “Super 12” in the World Cup, the final stage for which the top eight nations in cricket automatically qualified.

After a “small party” in the host city of Geelong, the Dutch national team boarded a flight to Tasmania, with Bangladesh as the first opponent on Monday (6am Dutch time). It’s a competition the Netherlands can win, says de Lied from his hotel room in Hobart. “Whoever gets into the flow, that is what counts. We play five games in two weeks. The faster we get to a good level, the higher the bar will be set.”

lowest ranked

The Netherlands is ranked 17th in the world rankings, the lowest ranked participant in the 12th excellent ranking. But in the T20, where each team of twenty sums (six balls at bat) to score as many kicks as possible. For example, twice world champions in the West Indies have already returned home. De Lied says the teams in level in the world’s top 20 are twice as small in one-day matches in 50 increments. “We also play with less pressure. We no longer have to fight to survive, like we did in the first round.”

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This is the second time in five entries, after 2014, the Netherlands are part of elite cricket in T20. And that is less than twelve months after the World Cup in the UAE and Oman, which were postponed due to the pandemic, as orange cricketers lost three times in the first round. According to de Lied, the difference between the past and the present dates back to last summer. In it, the Netherlands played on its territory against such major countries as the West Indies, England and Pakistan. “It was a great experience for young guests like me. It is new for us to be at the top. If you do well individually against big players, it gives you a lot of confidence.”

De Lied’s performance proves he was right. As a versatile player, he is an important player in the Dutch team, something the BBC did not miss. In a Super 12 preview, De Leede was named „outstanding playerName the thing. Especially because of his role as a bowler. De Leede was good for seven wickets in three games, which means he sent off seven opponents. At bat, he was also one of the best in the Netherlands with 58 hits. De Leede is ‘completely satisfied’ with his game. “There are always areas for improvement, especially in the strokes. How to say? I’m hungry for more.”

bass de led
Photo by Martin Kip/AFP

He says he is especially looking forward to the match against India on Thursday in Sydney. Indians are not only number one in the world rankings, they are the biggest cricket country ever. De Lied: “Playing against India is the best thing a cricketer would wish for. That would be very fat. We play in a stadium that seats 60,000, and it will be reasonably full. It is something we will experience for the first and possibly the last time.”

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Last summer, De Leede signed a contract with Mumbai Indians, or rather: India’s most successful T20 team with a franchise. He will participate in the international league with MI Emirates in January. “It’s a tournament that lasts about five weeks. Other than that, I’m free to go where I want. In the summer I will probably join my team again.” [in Voorburg] “Play,” says de Lied, who is not yet a professional. In addition to cricket, he is a second-year business administration student in Rotterdam. He still has exams two days before his first World Cup match. “I have my textbooks with me.”

The future of cricket

The difficulties of De Leede’s study demonstrate once again the standing of cricket in the Netherlands. The sport, which has around two billion fans worldwide and in which top players earn millions, still has a niche here. How many sports fans will know there is a World Cup in Australia? “The focus is very limited. I hope there will still be highlights on TV in the Netherlands,” says de Lied. Also because he believes the T20 is the future of cricket. “It gets the most attention, it’s the commercial aspect of our sport. We as players are going to make our money with that.”

Although Van Leede says he is equally happy to play the one-day matches, he is also intrigued by the faster variant. „As a hitter, you take more risks because you want to make the rounds faster. Every ball something happens. Also for bowlers, they have to adapt to running as low as possible. The batsmen take turns more quickly, so that you don’t get into a karmic rhythm.”

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As a multi-level player, De Leede has a “minor preference” for hitting in the T20. „With bowling you have 24 balls, if you have a bad spin you can still throw the next ball. In hitting, any ball can be the last.”

After Bangladesh and India, it will follow the group matches against Pakistan (October 30), Zimbabwe (November 2) and South Africa (November 6) in the World Cup. De Lied does not want to say the tournament is likely to be over for the Netherlands by then. He is modest in many ways, but he dares to dream out loud in the semi-finals – it’s high. “If we put ourselves in the role of a small country, it will never work. A sense of equality gives us more opportunity.”

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