A British sport has found an unlikely home in Noord Brabant. Let’s take a peek into the Dutch cricket scene in this province.
Cricket is a historical and a revered English sport played by elites and commoners alike. With a keen following in the English speaking world, cricket is a major world sport.
However, it has struggled to gain a foothold in continental Europe.The popularity of football leaves little room for sports like cricket to thrive. Even though, this hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from keeping this game alive in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has a long cricketing history yet largely forgotten. The first cricket club in the country was formed long back in 1857. In fact, the first women’s club was formed in 1930. With the recent influx of expats from cricketing nations, the Dutch cricket scene is getting, a much-needed boost in support and popularity. No doubt, the expats move here to work in the technology sector but this is a welcome advantage.
In the Netherlands, the sport is governed by the Koninklijke Nederlandse cricket bond(KNCB). At present, there are almost 6000 registered cricketers distributed among 50 clubs around the nation. Contrary to expectations the sport has a substantial Dutch presence, which presents a perfect opportunity for most expats to socialize with their hosts.
The province of Noord Brabant is home to four very dedicated yet diverse clubs. With two clubs in Eindhoven, one each in Vught and OSS. Three of the clubs have existed for almost 40 years! They participate in various levels of the Dutch domestic cricket competitions. The Noord Brabant cricket clubs are Wanderers Cricket Club in OSS, Vughtse Mixed Hockey and Cricket Club, Eindhoven cricket club and High tech campus Eindhoven cricket association. In addition, people can also choose to play cricket with corporate sports clubs. ASML is home to one such group called ASML cricket association. This corporate sports group plays in the “bedrijfcompetities” organized by the Dutch cricket board.
Unlike in some other countries where cricket is popular and in demand, these competitions are open to anyone willing to learn and improve. Most lower divisions comprise of part-time cricketers, who are professional engineers, businessmen, managers and students. This makes the game accessible to anyone interested. There is also a push among the clubs to bring more youth and women into the game. In addition to the sporting side, it also provides a unique opportunity to socialize with people from various diverse backgrounds.
All you need to do is walk into one of the four clubs and sign up. So what are you waiting for? With the 2020 cricket season beginning in May, there is still a chance to register at the clubs and join the 6000 other cricketers in the Netherlands.
For Eindhoven News: Siddharth Chunduri
Siddarth is a serving board member of the Wanderers cricket club in Oss. He also is an engineer working in ASML, Veldhoven. One of his passions is to promote the game of cricket and foster cooperation among the various cricket clubs in the Eindhoven region and Noord Brabant.
Edited by: Beena Arunraj