DUBAI // The World Twenty20 Qualifier is a ruthless place to be. Just ask Denmark.
When they played against Bermuda on Saturday, Michael Pedersen, the Denmark captain, was run out while backing up at the non-striker’s end. No questions asked, no warning offered and no apologies for being “Mankaded”.
It is like that, is it? So it seems, given that even their closest allies were not disposed to offer them even a hint of charity on Tuesday.
Freddie Klokker, the Denmark wicketkeeper, might have hoped the Netherlands would go easy on him and his team at the ICC Academy. Klokker, who once played as a substitute fielder for England, had two highly successful seasons as an “overseas” professional for Excelsior ’20 in the Dutch domestic league.
He even served as the club’s groundsman, while some of the team’s players, like Daan van Bunge, are among his closest friends. So maybe the Dutch bowlers might have at least given him a friendly one-off-the-mark? Not a chance.
Klokker fell to the second legitimate delivery he faced, and Denmark more or less folded thereafter as the Netherlands clinched victory with seven wickets and the best part of 10 overs to spare.
“It was pretty difficult as they have a good, quality bunch of guys, they have dangerous players and I have known that for a few years, having played there,” Klokker said.
“I wasn’t there long enough for them to say anything, just two balls, so that wasn’t ideal.
“They are pretty professional when they are on the park. Before we start and after we finish, there is plenty of banter, but when we are playing, it is serious cricket.”
With an uneasy lead-up to the tournament, which saw them do little more than twice-weekly indoor nets as preparation, the Danes have struggled so far in this tournament.
The Dutch, by contrast, travelled to South Africa for an intensive training camp. The difference between the relative haves and have-nots of European cricket has shown in the performances.
“When I first started playing for Holland eight years ago, we would travel a lot to Denmark and their teams would come to us and play,” said Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain.
“That hasn’t happened so much lately. Netherlands cricket has become professional and Denmark aren’t quite at that level, however, I still think that relationship was good.
“I’d love for us to do more for Danish cricket because over the years the two used to be very similar. Denmark used to beat Netherlands a lot in the ’80s and ’90s so it would be great to get that relationship back.”