Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
28 Nov 2021
7:42 am

Netherlands cricket team feel ‘safe’ but stranded by Covid

Ken Borland

Concerns about how welcome the players would be upon their return to Europe was also weighing on the minds of the squad.

The Netherlands cricket team are struggling to find flights back home after their tour of SA was postponed. Picture: Gallo Images

The Netherlands cricket team made it clear on Saturday that their decision to postpone their series against the Proteas had less to do with safety concerns than the uncertainty created by the travel bans that have been instituted.

Cricket South Africa and the Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond released a statement saying they had agreed to ‘defer’ the remainder of the ODI series due to the spread of a new strain of Covid.

That means the matches at Centurion on Sunday and the Wanderers on Wednesday will no longer take place, with the first ODI at SuperSport Park having been washed out two overs into the Netherlands’ pursuit of the Proteas’ target of 278.

ALSO READ: Proteas-Netherlands ODI series falls to Covid, travel ban

“We have been taken care of by Cricket South Africa in a magnificent way. They have done everything to make us feel safe,” Netherlands manager Steven van Dijk said on Saturday.

“So it’s not that we feel unsafe at all. The bubble has been executed perfectly. The only insecurity we have felt is not being able to fly home.

“So we have not been able to end the series because there is so much uncertainty. Some guys need to fly to New Zealand, others to England, which is a problem, the Netherlands too, and people had to sit for hours at the airport.

“The players are getting phone calls from home, worried messages. Some of them have young kids at home or pregnant partners, so we are looking at all the options for flights – two people getting tickets here, another three there.”

Concerns about how welcome the players would be upon their return to Europe was also weighing on the minds of the squad.

Van Dijk said there was no clarity over what would await the team on the other end of their flight.

“The conditions of entry change by the hour. The people on Friday’s flight to Schiphol had to wait seven hours to be tested and if they were negative they were allowed to leave the airport and go home for a 10-day quarantine,” he said.

“If they were positive then they had to quarantine in a hotel. Of the 600 people on that plane, 61 tested positive, but at the moment we are all just guessing what will happen when we land.

“We were booked to fly on December 2 but we are not sure if we can leave earlier. That’s probably the worst-case scenario and the guys who urgently need to get home, like those with pregnant partners, we are trying to get home sooner.”