History of cricket
Cricket was introduced to The Netherlands by British soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th Century, and the Cape Colony in 1856. In the 1860s, it was considered a major sport in the country. The Netherlands national team played its first-ever game in 1881. It fielded 22 players against an Uxbridge Cricket Club XI, but still lost by an innings.
The Dutch Cricket Association, forerunner of the present Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (KNCB), or Royal Dutch Cricket Association, was formed in 1883. It consisted of 18 member clubs, four of which still exist. The first national tournament was held the following year, won by the Haagsche CC. English touring teams then began visiting from 1886 onwards.
Many other sports (notably football) have long since surpassed cricket in popularity among the Dutch. Today there are around 5.000 cricketers spread around the country, mostly located in the western, central, and some eastern, regions. In 1966, the Netherlands achieved Associate Membership of the ICC.
In 1985 the KNCB and the Dutch Women’s Cricket Associatiopn (NDCB) merged into one organisation, overlooking all senior and junior cricket in the Netherlands.
International cricket and developing the game
The Dutch men’s team took part in all eight ICC Trophy tournaments between 1979 and 2005, winning in Canada (2001) and finishing as runners-up twice (1986 and 1990). The Netherlands also participated in the 1996, 2003, 2007 and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cups. It also took part in the T20 World Cups in 2009, 2014 and 2016. The greatest moment for the Netherlands came in June 2009. Facing England at Lord's in the opening match of WC T20, the Netherlands pulled off a dramatic victory off the final ball. The team repeated this success by qualifying for the Super-10 stage in 2014 in Bangladesh via a spectacular victory over Ireland, achieving this win needing 190 runs within 14 overs to reach the second stage on net run rate. It then again beat England in the Super-10.
In 2004, it began competing in first-class cricket as part of the ICC Intercontinental Cup. Although it achieved little success in the competition as a team, Ryan ten Doeschate set a new competition record individual score of 259 not out. In 2010, it defeated Bangladesh and qualified for the main Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship table. In 2012 the Dutch XI again beat Bangladesh, now in a T20. Unfortunately the team lost its ODI-status in the WC Qualifier in 2015, despite having finished in 2nd place in the WCL Championship.
The women’s XI participated in the 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2000 World Cups. In 2003 it failed to qualify for the next WC, losing the crucial match vs West Indies in the first-ever women’s qualifying tournament in the Netherlands. It also took part in two T20 WC Qualifiers (2013 and 2015), but again did not qualify.
All youth national squads, both boys and girls, travel to the UK each year to participate in tournaments and matches at a high level.