Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Dutch dismayed at scrapping of ODI Super League. Netherlands find themselves effectively relegated by fiat from the top tier of ODI competition after just three matches in the League
Netherlands find themselves effectively relegated by fiat from the top tier of ODI competition after just three matches in the League
The news of the ICC's quiet discontinuation of the Cricket World Cup Super League, which is set to be scrapped after its inaugural edition, has been met with dismay in the Netherlands, who find themselves effectively relegated by fiat from the top tier of ODI competition after just three matches in the League. Despite a winning start to their Super League campaign, beating Ireland 2-1 in the only series they have played thus far, the Dutch now seem certain to be ejected from the top echelon of ODI competition after this edition is completed regardless of on-field performance.
The end of the ODI League, which serves as a qualification pathway for the 2023 World Cup and is the first long-term structured international ODI competition to include all the ICC's Full Members, comes as a blow both to the Netherlands, who qualified as the 13th participant by winning the final edition of the World Cricket League Championship in 2017, as well as their Associate rivals currently competing in CWC League 2, the winner of which was to have been afforded the chance to replace or join the Dutch in the next now-aborted second edition of the competition.
For the Dutch the Super League ensured a guaranteed schedule of eight bilateral series, 24 ODIs in total, against Full Member opposition over the three-year course of the competition, considerably more than they had previously played in their entire history.
Head coach Ryan Campbell told Cricbuzz, “It's obviously disappointing not just for us but every Associate nation, that the Super League looks to have been scrapped. The chance for an associate to play against full members (outside of a World Cup) was what everyone had been craving for and it gave every single ODI fixture substance. Personally, I will make sure Dutch cricket gets everything we can out of this competition, especially when it comes to developing our players. We have a lot to look forward to over the next year and a half and we will enjoy every minute of it.”
Netherlands high performance manager Roland Lefebvre shared Campbell's dismay, and elaborated on the potential ramifications for the Netherlands and other Associates of the discontinuation of the League.
“We're bitterly disappointed. Though I wouldn't say we were entirely taken by surprise, of course we knew 2027 pathways were under discussion, but we weren't consulted or informed. We learned of it through the media, and I question how much thought has been given to the consequences. The ICC has lost a lot of experienced people – a lot of institutional expertise – in recent years especially with the departure of Richard Done as ICC's high performance manager, and there is little representation for high-performance Associates on the ICC Board it's a real concern that much of what's been achieved in recent years will dissipate. Discontinuing the [CWC Super] League sends a pretty clear signal, namely that big countries just want to play among themselves and are only concerned about controlling their own calendars.”
The Netherlands have thus far played only one Super League series, a 2-1 home win over Ireland, and are set to play their second away against South Africa next week. Needing only to avoid the wooden spoon or outperform the League 2 Champions at the World Cup Qualifier, the Dutch were reasonably confident about securing a place in the second edition.
“Yes, certainly after the start we've had we were reasonably optimistic in terms of finishing 12th or higher, or failing that re-qualifying at the Global Qualifier in 2023. Of course we knew we might get relegated on the field, that would have been painful. But we've only played three games so far. Participation in the League is hugely important for us, as it would be for any Associate. It's a real disappointment not to have the opportunity to prove we belong.”
The KNCB (Royal Dutch Cricket Association) had been without a main sponsor for almost five years before earning their place in the Super League, now with an upcoming home summer featuring series against England, the West Indies and Pakistan the prospects for professionalisation and financial security had looked briefly brighter.
“Guaranteed series against Full Members was a step-change, but now we're heading into another period of uncertainty. Going back to cobbling together what matches you can will make long-term planning difficult, and of course there will be inevitable financial consequences. Unlike bigger countries, we could never tell potential partners much about our future fixtures before, which made selling the game here very difficult.”
The Dutch board has yet to recoup the sunk costs of preparing for the Super League, which included a significant organisational restructure and the establishment of a separate commercial arm (Cricket Nederland BV) to handle the financial side of their expanded international schedule.
“Participating also brought obligations in terms of infrastructure and investment. As anticipated, the Ireland games (which were played without crowds owing to Covid restrictions in the Netherlands) yielded a considerable loss – DRS alone requires a minimum of 14 cameras and costs somewhere in the region of 75,000 euro per match. The organisational restructure of the KNCB to meet the challenge was also not without costs. In other sports, for example football, relegated clubs often get ‘parachute' payments to help meet their obligations, I'm afraid we likely can't expect anything like that. It is going to be very tough.”
The ICC has made no official comment except to confirm the discontinuation of the Super League, while other pathway structures remain under review. Despite promising to deliver “competitive cricket with context for all our Members,” the ICC's “Strategy for Global Growth,” released yesterday, makes no mention of any structured competition in international one day cricket.