It was last week’s big international sports news: Netherlands beat South Africa in the Cricket World Cup in India. One of the key figures in the Netherlands who is doing surprisingly well is Paul van Meegeren, born and raised in Amsterdam. The 30-year-old international cricketer will next play the Netherlands against superpower Australia today. “Here in India it’s all about cricket.”
“I saw pictures of the World Cup on TV, but now I’m in the middle of it,” van Meegeren says of India’s cricket craze from his hotel room in Delhi. “Last week I wanted to go to the hairdresser with a team-mate. We were taken there under police protection. Then five police officers went in to monitor everything. You have everything organized here. Everything revolves around the World Cup.”
The Tom Thumb of the World Cup
The match win against South Africa was widely reported in the international sports press. From New Zealand to Jamaica, the historical record of the Netherlands is spoken and written about. “It’s like Luxembourg beating the Netherlands in football, and we’re definitely Luxembourg. The Netherlands won’t win a single one of the twenty matches against South Africa in the future. They’re good,” Van Meegeren said. A unique achievement for the Netherlands.
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Van Meegeren will make his 76th appearance for the Netherlands in an official match against Australia today. His cricket career started with Harlem Red and White. “My father has his roots in Haarlem and always played for the Red and White. I was born in Amsterdam and have always lived there with my parents, but I had to play and will play for Dad’s club. So I’m a Red and White too. In heart and soul.”
“Would have won one or two games. But now I really want to win three.”
His first steps on the cricket field were in Harlem, but Van Meegeren now has clubs in Canada, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and won the Caribbean with St. Kitts and Nevis. The pitcher, known in cricket as ‘the bowler’, was one of the few Dutchmen to sign a contract in England. “I’ve lived in England for almost eight years, playing at clubs like Somerset, Glamorgan and Clouchershire. Along with fellow international Bas de Liede, I’ve had a professional contract in England. I think there’s only been seven or eight. The Dutch who could have helped us have already left.”
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Due to his already impressive cricket career, Van Meegeren will no longer get tired when playing big matches or individual battles against the best batsmen in the world. “I was very nervous on my debut in 2013, but not anymore. I have already played against England, Pakistan and India. I am really looking forward to the match against Australia because I have never played against that country. .”
“We still have a real chance to win against Bangladesh and Afghanistan,” Van Meegeren said of the remaining matches in the tournament. “Against in-form India, on a full court, it’s definitely going to be very difficult. But a win against South Africa makes you want more. You say early on that this World Cup would have won one or two matches. One win. But now I really want to win three. .”
Even when he faces Steve Smith or David Warner, two of the best hitters in the world today, Van Meegeren doesn’t falter. “Smith doesn’t use his legs well, so throw the ball full on his posts. David Warner, if you get it out, Australia often lose. So it would be good to get him out quickly, but of course everything has to go right for Australia to win.”
The Netherlands team will face Australia at 10.30 am today. Later in this World Cup Bangladesh will play against Afghanistan and England. The Dutch team’s final event will be a sold-out stadium match against home nation and superpower India on Sunday, November 12.
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