From the land of the Cryuffs, the van Bastens and the Hiddinks have emerged new heroes - Tom de Grooth, Ryan ten Doeschate and Peter Borren. For a country where cricket is largely played by expats and locals on an amateur scale, the win over England at Lord's is no mean achievement.
It also ends the team's long wait - beginning in the 1996 World Cup - for a win over a Test nation. Displaying immense courage and belief, The Netherlands arrived on the world stage.
The Dutch seized overs 12 to 16 in the England innings to arrest the home team's charge. At one point, England were coasting, their 100 coming off just 11 overs without losing a wicket. Then the Dutch skipper did the smart thing by slowing the pace down, and the slower bowlers choked the English batsmen. Ten Doeschate, Peter Borren and Edgar Schiferli put the brakes on England.
…And Broad fumbles.
It was a last over to remember, just 7 to get; the odds were against the Dutch, who, surely, were full of nerves. But it was the young Broad who cracked. First came the bizarre Jonty Rhodes style run-out attempt, but without the ball in his hand. Then a missed caught and bowled attempt off Schiferli next ball. Then came the biggest gaffe of them all. The last ball, two to get. Schiferli smashed the ball at Broad and ran hard. With all three stumps in view, Broad missed and the Dutch got the winning run off the overthrow.
When lighting struck twice…20 years later
The Netherlands mainly get their sporting accolades from football, hockey and winter sports. This win is expected to give a massive fillip to the cricketers and their careers. "This is the biggest day in Dutch cricket. I am waiting for our newspapers to come out tomorrow", said Smits.
For the 1200-odd fans who travelled from Holland it was a dream come true. "This is unbelievable, though quite deserved for we fielded and batted better," said one of them. Long after the match ended, the celebrations continued. All in all, the match had the essence of Twenty20 cricket.