Sunday 27 July 2008 

Van Bunge Gunning For Gibbs Rematch At ICC World T20

The Netherlands all-rounder Daan van Bunge would love a re-match with Herschelle Gibbs in the ICC World Twenty20 in England next year.

South Africa batsman Gibbs clubbed van Bunge for a record six sixes in an over in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in St Kitts, and the 25-year-old has challenged Gibbs to take him on once more.

“It would be great to play Herschelle again in England next year and I wouldn’t mind if he tries to repeat that feat again.

“But I am sure whatever he does, he wouldn’t be able to hit me again for 36 runs in an over,” said van Bunge, currently in Dublin for the ICC European Championships with his Dutch team-mates.

“It will be a great chance for me to play against Herschelle. And if I can take revenge, then it would be a perfect icing on the cake. It goes without saying that whenever I get an opportunity to play against him, I will target him as my prime wicket.”

To earn a re-match with South Africa, the Netherlands has to finish third in the six-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held in Belfast, Ireland from 2 to 5 August and then hope the ICC Board ratifies Zimbabwe Cricket’s decision to step back from the ICC World Twenty20 2009 taken during the ICC Annual Conference week.

If that happens, a third place finish in the event will mean a spot in Group B alongside South Africa and New Zealand.

Both finalists in the four-day tournament in Belfast are guaranteed places for the England event which will take place at Lord’s, The Oval and Trent Bridge next June.

Van Bunge said his team had a good chance to reach next year’s event. “As a team, we have to back ourselves because if we didn’t think we had a chance to qualify, we wouldn’t be here. In fact, any team that doesn’t think it has a chance should stay back.

“Our first objective is to qualify for the semi-final and then see what happens. We are still left with three games (in the ICC European Championships) before the main event starts and I am confident that by the time the tournament begins in Belfast, we will be in a good shape,” said van Bunge.

The Netherlands, seeded fourth, has Kenya and Canada in its group. Top seed Ireland, Scotland and Bermuda form the other group.

Van Bunge has represented the Netherlands at various age-group levels, including the U/15 mini World Cup in 1996 in England, and a tour of the same country with the Netherlands U/17 squad in 1998.

He made his ODI debut in 2002 against Sri Lanka and his highest score of 62 came against India at Paarl in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, while his best bowling figures of 3-16 came in the same tournament against England as he dismissed Michael Vaughan, Nick Knight and Andrew Flintoff.

Van Bunge said Twenty20 cricket was not a new concept to the Netherlands and smaller teams had a good chance to beat the stronger sides in this brand of cricket. “Twenty20 cricket was introduced in the Netherlands two years ago and we love and enjoy playing it.

“I think the shorter version of the game gives the smaller teams a better chance to upset the more fancied and experienced teams as the Twenty20 format really suits the developing nations, which are short of options and lack in experience,” he said.

Van Bunge took a break from cricket after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 but came back in 2008 and has played in three out of six ICC Intercontinental Cup matches.

“I took the break from cricket because I wanted to sort out my life. I can’t play cricket throughout my life and as an Associate player you don’t make enough money as well. So I wanted to finish my education, take a couple of degrees and secure my future.

"The temptation and feeling to play returned last December and I made myself available. I don’t think I missed much of the action. But the time I spent away from cricket was worthwhile as it gave me a good chance to organize myself and thing about other stuff,” he said.

The Netherlands is captained by the 25-year-old all-rounder Peter Borren, who was a member of the New Zealand side at the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in 2002. Borren has played 18 ODIs and eight first-class matches and has been in good form in the ICC Intercontinental Cup in which he is his team’s second leading run-getter with 359 runs at 32.63.

Another player in good form this season is Tom de Grooth, who attended the ICC Winter Training Camp in 2005. De Grooth is the Netherlands’ lead run-getter in the ICC Intercontinental Cup with 384 runs with 42.66.

Alexei Kervezee (Worcestershire), all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate (Essex) and 31-year-old batsman Bas Zuiderent (Sussex) are the other players who bring vital experience to the Dutch side.

Edgar Schiferli and Mudassar Bukhari may not have county championship experience but both are in good form with the ball. Schiferli is joint-fourth on the list of most successful ICC Intercontinental Cup bowlers with 19 wickets while Bukhari has claimed 17 wickets in the same competition.

In the ongoing ICC European Championships, the Netherlands bounced back after a surprise eight-wicket defeat against Italy to thrash Norway by 370 runs. The Netherlands’ 474-8 in 50 overs was dominated by opener Darren Reekers who hammered a 117-ball 196 that included 20 fours and 12 sixes. De Grooth contributed 96 before Schiferli followed up his 44 with figures of 5-52 as Norway was bowled out for 104.

© ICC