Dutch ‘Bulldog’ plots England upset in $500,000 match-ZoomTech News

Roelof van der Merwe has grow to be fashionable with cricket followers attributable to his wholehearted and passionate model
Venue: Pune Date: Wednesday, 8 November Time: 08:30 GMT
Protection: Ball-by-ball Check Match Particular commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports activities Additional, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app. The web site and app may also have dwell textual content commentary and in-play video clips (UK customers solely)

The very last thing England’s gamers want on the tail finish of a dismal World Cup marketing campaign is a snarling ‘Bulldog’ yapping at their heels.

Sadly for Jos Buttler and his facet, the proprietor of that canine moniker, Roelof van der Merwe of the Netherlands, is just not within the temper to roll over and have his tummy tickled.

A jaded England face the Dutch in Pune on Wednesday, with Van der Merwe and his team-mates enthusiastically sensing the prospect to seal their third win of the match.

“It has been an immensely disappointing World Cup for England,” Van der Merwe informed BBC Sport.

“They’ve world-class gamers and a world-class staff. It hasn’t gone their approach. They have not clicked.

“Are they weak for an upset? We’re going to put together 100% to exit and win the sport.

“We needed to achieve the semi-finals however three wins – in opposition to South Africa, Bangladesh and probably England – could be a very good World Cup for us.”

England have succumbed to embarrassing defeats by the Netherlands beforehand.

An England XI that includes Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart misplaced by three runs chasing 177 in Amstelveen in 1989 on a sodden matting pitch.

There was a thrilling last-ball win for the Dutch in opposition to England within the opening match of the T20 World Cup at Lord’s in 2009, earlier than they repeated the feat with a 45-run victory on the match in Bangladesh in 2014.

England have, although, gained all three of their 50-over World Cup conferences with the Netherlands – in 1996, 2003 and 2011.

The perimeters final met in a one-day worldwide sequence final 12 months when England racked up a document ODI rating of 498 within the first match as a part of a 3-0 clear sweep.

Van der Merwe missed it due to county commitments with Somerset however stated no scars have been left by that mauling.

“We’ve not as soon as spoken about that recreation on this journey,” stated Van der Merwe. “It is gone.

“The boys are much more assured on this recreation than they’d have been for that match.”

Fish fingers and double fist pumps

Stretford Cricket Club's 1st XI in 2006 with former skipper Chris Barlow sat front row centre, and Roelof van der Merwe next to him on the left
Stretford Cricket Membership’s 1st XI in 2006 with former skipper Chris Barlow sat entrance row centre, and Roelof van der Merwe subsequent to him on the left

Johannesburg-born Van der Merwe’s cricketing training started on membership grounds in Pretoria following his dad round whereas his mum scored, earlier than taking the sport extra critically at college the place he was a wicketkeeper-batter.

He performed for South Africa on the Beneath-19 World Cup in 2004 as a keeper however that was adopted by a few years within the wilderness after turning to left-arm spin, and questioning whether or not he had what it takes to crack it as knowledgeable cricketer.

A confidence-boosting, and vibrant, season taking part in league cricket as an abroad newbie within the Manchester & District Affiliation for Stretford Cricket Membership in 2006 proved a turning level.

Stretford’s then-captain Chris Barlow recalled selecting up a 22-year-old Van der Merwe from the airport.

“When Roelof got here via safety he was sporting an alice band and his tongue was pierced,” stated Barlow.

“I assumed, ‘What on earth have we acquired ourselves right here?’

“However he was a breath of contemporary air. From day one his expertise was clear to see, however the ardour you see now with the best way he celebrates, that was Roelof again in 2006.”

Van der Merwe shortly gained over his Stretford team-mates with match-winning centuries and very good bowling spells, and like many abroad membership cricketers loved himself off the sphere.

“I keep in mind a recreation within the Lancashire Cup one Sunday. It should have been quarter-hour earlier than the sport and there was no signal of Roelof,” Barlow stated.

“It was solely after we moved the sightscreens for a unique pitch we discovered him asleep behind them after a heavy night time. I gave him a rollicking, an power drink, then we watched him exit and rating a superb hundred.

“He’s a 100% sort of man. That double fist pump celebration was the identical again then. Roelof would rejoice getting out an area membership opener the identical as he would if it was Steve Smith.”

Van der Merwe chipped in with all elements of membership life at Stretford. He coached the juniors and helped spherical the bottom, though he by no means fairly acquired the grasp of cooking.

“His dinners consisted of one among two issues,” stated Barlow.

“He had a selected kebab he preferred from an area store. If he was cooking himself he would go to the store and purchase a bag of fish fingers. He’d then have 12 fish fingers on a butty, which I feel he ate for 5 nights per week!

“He was aggressive on the pitch, however each membership beloved taking part in in opposition to him then having a beer with him afterwards.

“I do not assume he made a single enemy. He was a pleasure to captain, pleasure to play with and a pleasure to nonetheless name a buddy.”

The globetrotting Bulldog

Van der Merwe returned to South Africa after his stint with Stretford CC with a league document 1,200 runs at 80 and 53 wickets at 11.26 underneath his belt and kicked on to make his Checklist A and first-class debut later that 12 months.

Titans assistant coach Chris van Noordwyk dubbed Van der Merwe the ‘Bulldog’ a 12 months after he returned from his stint in England, and it has caught with him ever since.

“I’m any person who retains punching, retains combating and that retains me going within the recreation so I feel that is the place it got here from,” Van der Merwe stated.

“Having that power retains me aggressive to affect video games. I wish to get into the struggle.”

He made his worldwide debut for South Africa in opposition to Australia in 2009, however after being unluckily caught on 13 ODIs and 13 T20Is for the Proteas he fell out of favour and switched allegiances to the Netherlands in 2015.

Van der Merwe qualifies for the Netherlands via his Dutch mom, though his surname on his father’s facet will be traced again to staff of the Dutch East India Firm who arrived in South Africa within the seventeenth century.

With a younger household, Van der Merwe is now primarily based in Somerset the place golf, gardening and his ardour for Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette occupy any spare time.

“I’ve missed seeing Roxette 3 times attributable to cricket!” he added. “I really like Weapons and Roses, too. I do know he is stopped touring however going to see Elton John continues to be on my bucket checklist of individuals I need to see.”

Van der Merwe has grow to be the embodiment of a contemporary globetrotting franchise participant, taking part in for everybody from Royal Challengers Bangalore within the IPL to Northern Superchargers in The Hundred by way of the Hung Hom JD Jaguars within the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.

The 38-year-old’s spectacular age-defying catches, impressed by his hero Jonty Rhodes, alongside together with his aggressive batting, have made him fashionable with followers wherever he pitches up.

However it’s Van der Merwe’s celebration of a wicket which has made him a cult hero. A double fist pump, eyes-popping out of their sockets, and mouth roaring virtually in indignant defiance.

“It is instinctive and simply occurs,” Van der Merwe added.

“I acquired despatched a photograph montage of my profession the opposite day and I’ve really been doing it for fairly some time. I solely realised midway via my profession I’ve acquired this fairly distinctive trademark celebration.

“I do not simply sit in my room at night time practising it – it occurs on the day and is a launch from the battle of the sport.”

The half-million greenback match

There are two additional incentives for Van der Merwe and his Netherlands team-mates in the remainder of this World Cup.

A dwell stream of their assembly with England – and likewise their last recreation with India – will probably be out there to observe without cost on the web site of a serious Dutch public broadcaster.

The remainder of the match has been streamed dwell by a subscription-only service so there’s, in concept, the potential for higher publicity for cricket within the nation.

Nevertheless, the most important factor at stake – and one that’s doubtlessly damaging for England – is qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy in 2025.

The highest eight sides will qualify for the ODI match in Pakistan and the Netherlands are presently in ninth spot, tied on 4 factors with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The latter two sides face New Zealand and Australia respectively within the last matches which leaves the Dutch figuring out that victory over England may doubtlessly seal a top-eight spot.

A participation price of £405,000 (USD $500,000) from the ICC for the Champions Trophy could be a serious injection of money.

The ECB just lately handed out contracts, starting from one 12 months to 3, to 29 England gamers.

By comparability simply 4 Netherlands gamers – Scott Edwards, Max O’Dowd, Teja Nidamanuru and Vivian Kingma – have full-time taking part in contracts with the Royal Dutch Cricket Federation (KNCB), with many of the remainder of the squad half time, or balancing skilled cricket commitments.

“In fact there’s the cash facet of issues with the Champions Trophy,” Van der Merwe defined.

“Nevertheless it’s additionally one other alternative to go and play in opposition to the most effective groups on the planet. We’re ravenous for that.

“We have to play aggressive cricket in opposition to excellent groups to maintain bettering. It is essential we play issues just like the Champions Trophy and in opposition to mainstream groups.”

The Dutch produced an attention-grabbing show to beat South Africa earlier within the match which was notably particular for Van der Merwe, born and raised in Johannesburg.

“We appeared on the T20 World Cup in Australia the place we had overwhelmed them earlier than in order that gave us confidence,” he added.

“To beat South Africa once more was nice. The boys performed a fantastic recreation of cricket that day.

“For me personally, it was one thing I am going to keep in mind for the remainder of my life. Individuals in South Africa stated to me ‘Congratulations Bulldog’ however I acquired the sense various had been aggravated with me!

“The extra ODI video games we play the extra we actually problem these full member groups.”

England will hoping in Pune that Van der Merwe’s bark is worse than his chew.

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