Following on from their highly symbolic, if rain-soaked, T20I at Lord’s on Sunday, more history beckons for Nepal on Wednesday when they make their ODI debut against the Netherlands in the first of a two game series being played out at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen.
Above: The VRA stadium in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.
Nepal qualified for status by beating Papua New Guinea at the CWC Qulaifier in Zimbabwe in March, dislodging their Oceanic opponents from the ICC’s strictly limited status club in the process.
They will become the 24th side to appear in ODIs, (or 27th if you also include the Asia XI, Africa XI and ICC World XI sides that the powers that be have sought to give official status to over the years).
Nepal are one of the sport’s fastest growing associate nation, and the match will be followed by millions back home who have really taken to the sport since their side’s meteroic rise through the ranks gathered pace in recent years.
By contrast, the Netherlands will be playing their 80th ODI, although the first since 2014, having regained status they lost back then by winning the 2015-2017 World Cricket League. Their overall record is 28 wins to 44 losses.
The Netherlands won the sides’ latest meeting in 50-over cricket, the seventh place play-off in the aforementioned CWC Qualifies in Zimbabwe – a match which bizarrely was not granted official ODI status despite both sides having already secured their place amongst the chosen few by the time it was played. Such are the byzantine machinations of the ICC!
Given this is Nepal’s first ever ODI series, there are few official ODI stats to feast upon here. Not that either sets of fans will care one iota – they are just happy to be back on the ICC’s weirdly defined next to top table!
For what it is worth, only five of the Netherlands squad have featured in an official ODI before, with a couple potentially in line for personal milestones if they go big in the two-game series:
Wesley Barresi (Netherlands)
With an ODI century already to his name, a couple more could see top order batsman Barresi become the seventh Dutchman to 1,000 runs in the format. He currently has 783.
Pieter Seelaar (Netherlands)
Skipper Seelaar has 42 ODI wickets, so eight in the series will see him notch up 50, and be the third Netherlands player to do so. Five wickets will see him overtake Peter Borren and move into third place for his country in wickets.