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ODI World Cup 2023: Netherlands Cricket Board seeks Indian net bowlers for the preparation camp

The Netherlands Cricket Board is on the lookout for Indian net bowlers to bolster their preparations leading up to the Cricket World Cup 2023. In a unique move, the Dutch board has issued a call via social media for bowlers to participate in their preparation camp set to take place in Alur, Karnataka, from September 20 to 24.

Cricket ODI World Cup 2023: Netherlands Cricket Board seeks Indian net bowlers for the preparation camp osf
First Published Sep 8, 2023, 5:59 PM IST

The Netherlands Cricket Board has issued a call for Indian net bowlers as part of their preparations for the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2023. This request was conveyed via a social media advertisement seeking bowlers for their preparation camp scheduled in Alur, Karnataka. This highlights the contrast in resources between established cricketing nations and associate nations. The preparation camp is set to span from September 20 to September 24, with the advertisement specifying the need for multiple net bowlers.

While it is customary (though not a rule) for local state associations, such as the Karnataka State Cricket Association in this case, to provide net bowlers for visiting teams, the Dutch cricket board has embarked on a unique step by advertising on social media, seeking a left-arm seamer, right-arm seamer, mystery spinner, and a left-arm spinner for their five-day pre-tournament camp in Alur.

Unlike some other teams, including hosts India, the Dutch cricket team does not possess sufficient depth in domestic cricket or the resources to have traveling net bowlers accompany the squad. This prompted their unconventional approach.

The criteria for net bowlers set by the Netherlands team reflect their need for specific skills. Pacers are expected to bowl at speeds exceeding 120 kmph (75 miles per hour), while spinners are required to maintain a minimum speed of 80 kmph (50 miles per hour). Aspiring net bowlers must provide videos of themselves bowling at least one over, clearly showcasing the trajectory of their deliveries. Travel, accommodation, and meals during the camp will be covered by the Royal Netherlands Cricket Association. Applicants must be above 18 years of age and residents of India.

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The Karnataka State Cricket Association has expressed its readiness to assist in securing the best possible net bowlers for the Dutch team, extending their support for the upcoming camp. Additionally, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official explained that some established teams like England and Australia have accumulated contacts within the BCCI bodies over the years, allowing them to access high-quality net bowlers through their connections. This advantage is something that the Netherlands team lacks, which has prompted their unique approach to seek Indian net bowlers for their preparations.

The Netherlands cricket establishment, considered one of the weakest among the ten participating countries in the forthcoming 50-over global tournament commencing on October 5, operates in a semi-professional setup. Over 70% of their players hold regular jobs, and fewer than ten players in the entire country have central contracts. With limited access to quality practice sessions, especially on weekdays, where players often balance their day jobs with evening indoor training, the need for quality net bowlers becomes apparent to bolster their World Cup preparations.

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