HomeCricketScott Edwards Interview: ‘Keep’ing Netherlands marching ahead

Scott Edwards Interview: ‘Keep’ing Netherlands marching ahead


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The Netherlands captain talks about his team’s show in the ODI World Cup, having the edge over South Africa, scrapping of the Super League and more in a chat with Cricket.com

Scott Edwards has been at the centre of the Netherlands’ ups and downs. He took over the leadership role sooner than expected when Pieter Seelaar retired in the middle of the series against England in 2022. 

If that wasn’t enough, Edwards was also tasked with leading the side in the T20 World Cup in 2022 before donning the role again during the 2023 ODI World Cup Qualifiers. 

What followed, though, was one of the best periods in Netherlands Cricket history. 

They beat Zimbabwe and South Africa at the T20 World Cup and went a step ahead and made it to the ten-team World Cup in India as the only associate nation. In India, they once again pipped past the Proteas and Bangladesh, strengthening their credentials. The Dutch also ran Pakistan ragged before succumbing to defeat. 

With a wood over South Africa recently, does the Dutch side consider themselves as favourites against the Proteas heading to the T20 World Cup this year? 

“Don’t know about that. For us, in any format, it’s a World Cup, we’ve got four of them, we need to win three of them. We feel like we are a strong side,” a humble Edwards tells Cricket.com from Kathmandu.

“We’ve played a lot of good cricket. It’s going to come down to winning three of those matches,” he added. 

While the transition might be a worry for others, Ryan Cook’s help was quintessential in helping the wicketkeeper-batter ease into his role. 

“He’s been involved since I took over as captain. He’s helped me out with that sort of transition to the captaincy role. So, we work quite closely and well together. Really enjoy leading the group with him. It’s been awesome so far,” Edwards said of Cook.

Having grown into the role over the past year, Edwards further boosted his credentials as a sound and astute captain when he threw the ball to opening batter Max O’Dowd here in Kathmandu. 

Until then, O’Dowd had just bowled 43 deliveries in his ODI career. While he failed to make an impact against Nepal, his leg-spin came in handy against Namibia, where he got rid of the highest scorer, JJ Smit, to scalp his maiden ODI wicket. O’Dowd joined his opening partner Vikramjit with his bowling duties, and Edwards credited the off-season work that the batters have put in to improve their bowling. 

“It’s something he’s (O’Dowd) been working on. It adds another element to our squad, gives a bit of flexibility, depending what we want to go with. We are always encouraging guys to improve their main skills and add strengths to the bowling side. Really impressed with how he’s bowling so far,” Edwards said.

The Netherlands have always prided themselves on playing good, competitive cricket. They took the World Cup in India very seriously with an eye on qualifying for the semi-final. How? 

Scott Edwards’ and his side arrived in India, here in Bengaluru, for a spin camp where they practised day in and day out against a good Karnataka outfit. While they were thoroughly tested during their time at Alur, it provided them with adequate information about the conditions in the country. 

Understandably, winning just two of the nine round-robin matches at the World Cup is not something the teams consider a major success, but Edwards is happy to see the team moving in the right direction.

“It’s a tough one to look back on. We showed in patches some quality cricket. We gave ourselves a chance to win 4-5 games. But against the best sides in the world, you cannot afford to take your foot off the gas a bit,” Edwards, who finished with 259 runs at 37 in the tournament, said.

“There were a few games where we let it slip. Having said that, super proud of the way the team went overall last year. Had a great run at the Qualifiers and even the T20 World Cup before that. So, I feel we’ve been building, and for us, it is to build in that trajectory.”

Edwards especially showed the world his prowess playing the sweep and reverse sweep. No player scored more runs (68) than him in the tournament with those shots, and he did so at an impressive strike-rate of 170, having been dismissed just once.

A summer with Alex Ross, fondly known as the “sweepologist” in Australian circles was a major driving force behind Edwards honing his skills. The 27-year-old, though, believes in keeping things simple.

“It depends a lot on the situation of the game, what types of bowlers. In the game these days, there’s pre-meditation. It’s just judging the situation and playing as best as you can,” he said.

But watching Scott Edwards play against the top dogs would now not be possible, with the ICC scrapping the ODI Super League. The competition allowed them to rub shoulders with top sides like West Indies, Pakistan, England, amongst others, helping them improve their game. 

As winners of the last CWC League 2 cycle, Scotland had earned the right to have a taste of that, too. However, the ICC scrapped the idea after its implementation in just one edition.

Last year, in a chat with this website, O’Dowd expressed his disappointment with the same. A year on, Edwards couldn’t agree more. 

“That’s the way the ICC has (scrapping Super League) gone on, which is a little bit disappointing,” Edwards said.

“The Super League was awesome to be a part of and helped out our squad massively. Little bit disappointing. But we get a chance to play 36 high-quality ODIs against quality sides for the next four years. For us, there is still a lot of cricket to look forward to and for us, that goal of making the next ODI World Cup.”

Before arriving in Nepal, the Netherlands were in South Africa, where they played against the SA20 sides. Edwards believed the team gained valuable experience despite the contests being mere warm-up encounters, getting an opportunity to rub shoulders with some top international cricketers. 

“Obviously, a high-quality competition. We played against a lot of good sides, a lot of good players. Especially for some young guys who have not played in World Cups and those sort of things, it was an awesome opportunity to get exposure at that sort of level. It gives them an opportunity to perform and put their hand up for the World Cup spot,” Edwards said.

Edwards’ stint in South Africa was, however, cut short when he was called up as a cover by the Melbourne Renegades at the Big Bash League after Quinton de Kock went the opposite way to fulfil his duties with Durban’s Super Giants in the SA20. 

With no real wicketkeeping alternatives in the squad, the Renegades couldn’t have been more blessed to find someone like Edwards in their arsenal. 

While he did not get to showcase his skills, he was pleased to be involved in the tournament, where he played a couple of warm-up games, getting more opportunities to test his skills with the big boys. 

“It was an awesome opportunity to be involved. My main focus has always been the Netherlands. The opportunities to play franchise and leagues outside of those times is something I would try and experience,” Edwards, who is pursuing his Bachelor in Sports Management at Deakin University, said.

While it has been a scratchy start to their League 2 campaign, there is still enough time for the Netherlands to work on their game and make a push to play in the 2027 ODI World Cup. 

They still have the T20 World Cup to look forward to later this year. All of this experience, playing against the SA20 teams, the stint with the ‘Gades and World Cup exposure could help Edwards and his side in massively uplifting their game. 

Scott Edwards might have to be their Lynchpin if the Netherlands are going to take their game to the next level.

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