If the arena was a rectangle and the game the 90-minute variety, there would not be space for spectators to even stand at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground when the Netherlands take on England on Tuesday.
But this is the cricket World Cup and not soccer, and the Netherlands are at best a group of talented amateurs looking to make a mark on the international circuit. However, tell that to any Dutchman in this Orange City and pat comes the reply, “We will want this rivalry to grow like it has in soccer.”
The confidence stems from a shock four-wicket victory at Lord’s in the World Twenty20 two years ago, a result that gave cricket a fillip in the country dominated by soccer and cycling.
But that was in the shortest version of the game. And this tournament has started with the Associate teams getting clobbered by the Test sides.
And so the Netherlands coach Peter Drinnen had no qualms in admitting that his team would have to raise its game several notches here. “One-Day cricket needs a lot more application than Twenty20 and that will be our real test,” said Drinnen, who had to announce his squad well before the deadline to let the players get leave from their employers.
Only three Dutch players are professionals while others work as financial advisers, fitness trainers and even as managers at hotels and fast food joints.
The Dutch would be buoyed by the news that their captain Peter Bronen has recovered from a side strain. Borren insists his players would make England sweat.
Kevin Pietersen, promoted to open the batting, may have different ideas.