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ICC Champions Trophy
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September 17, 2002
1122 IST

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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The Netherlands target
one-day status

N Ananthanarayanan

Dutch skipper Roland Lefebvre says his inexperienced side would continue to work for one-day international status despite suffering another crushing defeat on Monday.

Former world champions Sri Lanka whipped the Netherlands by 206 runs to register the biggest win yet in the 12-team Champions Trophy as the Dutch returned to the international game after six years on the sidelines.

Most Dutch players have to play their cricket around fulltime jobs in the Netherlands where cricket has a low profile behind soccer and speedskating. Their lack of depth showed as they were shot out for 86 in reply to Sri Lanka's 292-6.

But Lefebvre said: "To play at the one-day international level is closer to our goal."

The Dutch were grateful to get an opportunity to face players such as Sanath Jayasuriya, the host skipper and explosive opener, and their match-winning off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

"They have only seen such players on television and in magazines," the former Somerset and Glamorgan player said.

The Dutch qualified for this event after winning last year's ICC trophy in Canada, which has also sealed them a berth in next year's World Cup in South Africa. Lefebvre said his players had gained from the defeat.

"If you look for positives out of a match which you have obviously lost, there were plenty," he said.


He attributed his side's spirited fielding and disciplined bowling to inputs from former Australia coach Bob Simpson, who coached the side briefly before they arrived in Colombo.

"Bob Simpson's strength is that he keeps things simple. He is very much an old fashioned coach, doesn't have much to do with all these innovations. We worked very hard on our fielding with him."

While major Test nations enjoy lucrative team and player sponsorships, the Dutch have to make do with sporting AIDS awareness messages on their shirts after a deal with their national AIDS foundation.

He said: "We have to play this type of cricket over and over again. We have to compete against stronger opposition to get used to the strength of the opposition.

"If we get the opportunities and the experience, while playing in strong tournaments, then we will grow slowly."

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