Van der Merwe returns to Netherlands squad

Bret Kamutenga

ROELOF van der Merwe has returned to the Netherlands’ One Day International (ODI) squad ahead of their tour to Zimbabwe.

He last featured for the Netherlands in an ODI in November 2021 and he is in line to play his first 50-over game after being named in a 17-member squad for their ODI tour to Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Head coach Ryan Cook will not be available for the tour to Zimbabwe due to commitments at the IPL and will temporarily be replaced by Ryan van Niekerk.

The three one-day international (ODI) matches will be played in Harare on 21, 23 and 25 March.

 The ODI series is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League that is serving as the main route for direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.

The 13-team league competition will see the top eight sides, including India as the hosts, earn direct qualification, while the remaining five, along with five associate sides, will play in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 in Zimbabwe from which two other teams will go through to the global showcase.

The upcoming series against Netherlands will be Zimbabwe’s last in the Super League, placed on position 12  on the Super League points table with 45 points, and Netherlands, placed on position 13 with 25 points, are out of contention for direct qualification to the World Cup.

Chevrons skipper Craig Ervine said the games against Netherlands would give them a chance to assess the team ahead of ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier.

 “I think the tour is very important for a couple reasons, one being it’s a chance to look at some options ahead of the ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier on home soil and what sort of team our selectors are looking at. Two, it’s an opportunity to keep the momentum going which has brought the crowds back to Harare Sports Club and which we want to carry through to the qualifiers,” said Ervine.

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