Jeremy Wells: What the hell are the Netherlands doing here?

Publish Date
Friday, 25 March 2022, 9:44AM


I visited Holland a few years ago, in fact, the word "visit" might be a little too generous. I was in Amsterdam for approximately 15 hours doing a build-up show with my Alternative Commentary Collective colleagues before the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final. Why we were doing the build-up from the streets of Amsterdam and not from on location at Twickenham? That’s a great question and one I was asking myself quite a lot at the time and still do to this day. I believe it was done purely to confuse people and go against the mainstream idea of what a "build-up show" should be. It certainly worked as we got a message almost immediately on landing from the then CEO of our mother ship asking “What the f*** are you doing in Amsterdam?”

Which brings me to the latest cricket series about to kick off this Friday night in Napier and you could rightly ask “What the f*** are Holland doing here?” Again a great question that can be quickly followed up by “What will NZ look to gain out of such a series? I will attempt to answer these both, albeit in a very round-a-bout way.

The Dutch are no strangers to international cricket, they have rolled their arm over in four ODI & T20 World Cups but they simply haven’t registered on my cricketing radar as I’ve never actually seen them swing the willow and I challenge even the nerdiest of cricket nerds to say they have. But they are here and padded up which means I get to watch and commentate cricket, two big ticks from me. In an international summer schedule that came close to sucking my cricket passion dry at least this is a little bit of moisture for the lips, sure it’s not Australia or India as planned but I feel OK about it. The BLACKCAPS took 26 long painful years to win their first test match and now they are the World Champions so the Dutch need all the encouragement they can get, hell I’m breaking out the Cricket Clogs, my orange Tui catch-a-million t-shirt and going full Dutch – orange is the new black!

And what will NZ gain from the series? Well bugger all to be honest but at least it will give us a chance to see Ross Taylor sign off in style, ideally with a slog sweep into the sub-canopy of cricketing folklore.

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