The Dutch are arriving on Friday from Dubai. They could well have gone back home as their visit almost got averted. There was drama before their expected arrival.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was peeved that the Dutch did not seek permission to visit India. Their hosts too did not seek BCCI permission before inviting them. Just like the controversy surrounding the England Lions, who have been camping here for the last two weeks, there were issues linked to the Dutch visit too. The BCCI was not too amused. The Netherlands cricket team is scheduled to play a couple of games against a DY Patil XI in Navi Mumbai and three matches against the England Lions in Pune.
The Pune leg of their tour was in danger of being scuppered as the Maharashtra Cricket Association had taken a tough stand of not letting them any ground. “We would not let any ground to them. It’s an unauthorised tour,” an association official told DNA a few days back. The association relented after the BCCI softened its stand on the touring party.
The BCCI’s rethink came after the England and Wales Cricket Board’s apology. “We’ve agreed to host them after the ECB apologised to us. But it was not the way the tours are conducted,” a top board official said.
With the BCCI relenting, the Pune-based association said it would let its grounds for the Dutch-England Lions matches. “The ECB has apologised to the BCCI for their error in not seeking permission. The BCCI president has accepted the apology and as a special case allowed the matches to go ahead this one time. So, if the BCCI has given approval, we’ve no problem,” the Maharashtra official said explaining the U-turn in their position. But the association refused to spare the swanky Subroto Roy Sahara Stadium. “They will have to play at a club ground,” the official remarked. The matches are on December 13, 14 and 16.
Meanwhile, the Dutch team said they are looking forward to the India visit. “All permissions have been obtained and we’re looking forward to some good cricket,” media manager Ed van Nierop told DNA from Dubai where the team has been practising for weeks. “We will be in India for close to 11 days and we will fly back home on December 17,” he said.