Melbourne: The Netherlands cricket team got a major boost in their quest for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia after the addition of India's former World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten to their coaching staff on Tuesday.
Netherlands are placed in Group A of the first round of the T20 World Cup, along with the UAE, Namibia, and Sri Lanka. They play the UAE on October 16, followed by games against Namibia and Sri Lanka on October 18 and 20, respectively. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super 12 stage, which begins on October 21.
The Dutch also added Australian veteran all-rounder Dan Christain to their coaching staff to further enhance their chances at the World Cup.
Kirsten has already worked with head coach Ryan Cook and skipper Scott Edwards at Gary Kirsten's Cape Town cricket academy while Christain joined the team in Australia after the Dutch team landed in Australia.
Kirsten prominently led India to victory in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and has subsequently bolstered his coaching credentials with impressive stints with South Africa and the Gujarat Titans in the IPL.
The former South African batsman played for the Proteas in the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Australia, and he previously assisted the Netherlands during their Super League series against Ireland last year.
The 54-year-old has already enjoyed his time with the Dutch camp and feels they can make an impression on the big stage in Australia.
"I really enjoyed working with the Dutch Team in Cape Town and I look forward to joining them as a consultant in the T20 World Cup. I was impressed with the level of skill and professionalism during the camp. They will be ready and determined to make an big impact at the T20 World Cup," Kirsten said as quoted by ICC.
While Christian may not yet have the same coaching qualifications as Kirsten, his playing credentials are equally outstanding, with the 39-year-old having played 23 T20Is and 20 ODIs for Australia and earlier winning a whopping nine domestic T20 titles around the world.
Christian hasn't played for his country since a T20I against Bangladesh in Mirpur last year, but the all-rounder has a wealth of playing experience in Australia and has been assisting the Dutch camp in acclimatizing to the conditions that will most likely be present during the three group games in the Victorian city of Geelong.
"I've had a great couple of weeks getting to know the guys, and I've been extremely impressed with everyone's work ethic at practice. I'm looking forward to seeing them have some well-deserved success on the field," Christian said.
The Netherlands lost their first warm-up match to Scotland by 18 runs on Monday and will play West Indies in Melbourne on Wednesday before traveling to Geelong for their first-round matches against the UAE, Namibia, and Sri Lanka.