Tough to manage a team of professionals and amateurs: Dutch coach

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NEW DELHI - It takes more than a bat and a ball to keep their cricket alive. For the Netherlands coach Peter Drinnen and captain Peter Borren managing a team comprising mostly amateurs is the toughest challenge.

The Dutch, competing in their fourth World Cup, have already proven their strength giving a tough fight to England.

The team hardly gets to play big teams and they gather for camps only before a big tournament. Once it is over, the chores of daily life take prominence.

Drinnen, who has been in charge of the team since January 2008, finds getting the team together before a tournament as his toughest job.

“Managing time is the biggest challenge for me. The professional players are quite easy to work with but to make them work as a team is a tough ask,” said Drinnen ahead of their second game against West Indies here Monday.

“The frustration as a coach is that you work with the team for a certain period and then they get back to their daily routine. So all the hardwork is undone and you have to start from the scratch.”

Captain Borren agreed with his coach but said the nature of the side helps in uniting the players.

“It is difficult for us to work as a team since we are not a fully professional outfit,” said Borren.

“The professional guys we have train outside and then we have a core group of players who live in Holland. It acts as strength sometimes as the players want to give their best for the period they are together.”

Having said that, the Netherlands remain a team of limited resources. It does not come as a surprise as cricket is played by not more than 5,000 people in a football crazy country.

The side was an impressive unit in their first World Cup game against England, where they lost after setting a 290 plus target. The match witnessed a cracking century by Ryan ten Doeschate and the team is now keen on maintaining the same batting form against the Caribbean side.

“We performed well but it was disappointing to lose in the end. We got a lot of things right in that game but we still need to do improve in certain areas for the next game and if we manage that we have a very good chance of beating them,” said coach.

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