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‘I Want to Make a 100 in the World Cup, That’s Something I Would Like to Tick Off’ – Bas de Leede – News18

The Netherlands are the only associate team set to feature in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, and in terms of experience, they are no match to the other nine teams. But, talk about handling pressure, the team could be right up there with the best. After a gruelling World Cup Qualifier campaign and a scintillating match to book their tickets to India; add to that besting of full-member teams like West Indies and Zimbabwe, the mood in the Netherlands camp is more of excitement than nervousness ahead of their ICC World Cup 2023 opener vs Pakistan at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium Uppal, Hyderabad on Friday.

“I think we’re all just excited. We’ve spent quite a bit of time in India now, so, the closer you get to the first game, the more excited you’re going to get. I think we’re ready,” The Netherlands star player Bas Leede told reporters on the pre-match day presser.

READ MORE: PAK vs NED, World Cup 2023: ‘We Have Unfinished Business From 2019’ – Mickey Arthur’s Pakistan Sets Eyes on Redemption – News18

Going up against Pakistan the Netherlands will have their task cut out though. While Pakistan did get two full warm-up games to iron out their chinks, Netherlands’ warm-up game against India was washed out robbing them of much-needed game time closer to the tournament. And against, Australia, they were all at sea against the swing of Mitchell Starc.

“We had a nice practice week and a bit in Bangalore, which was good for us. Then the games in Thiruvananthapuram were rained off, which was a shame. But I think it almost makes us even more eager and even more excited for the game tomorrow. Hopefully, it stays dry and we get on,” told de Leede, who will join a very exclusive club of father-son duo to play the World Cup. Only 5 other father-son duo have played in World Cups.

Tim de Leede, Bas’ father, had represented the Netherlands in the 1996, 2003, and 2007 World Cups. Incidentally, this is the first time since 2007 that the Netherlands are part of a 50-over World Cup.

“The one thing he said was enjoy it,” Bas answered when quipped about any advice his father gave him for the World Cup. “I think that’s off the field, but also on the field, taking a moment sometimes during the game to soak up what’s happening. He’s always been letting me go free and try and play my own game and not be too involved. I chatted to him about his memories from old cups, which is a nice thing, but other than that, not much.”

Netherlands had played Pakistan in three ODI in Rotterdam in 2022 and even though they know what to expect tomorrow, Bas conceded it is going to be a tall ask in the World Cup to go against Pakistan.

“Shaheen [Afridi] and Haris Rauf are two quality paces. Something we don’t face too often – left-arm swing. It was a little bit of a wake-up call for us against Mitchell Starke the other day, but I think we still need to be confident in our abilities and ensure that Shaheen has been a focus point for us in our preparation and also our analysis. Hopefully, we’re going to play it better than we did start the other day.”

READ MORE: Mohammad Wasim Jr. Poised for Opening Role vs Netherlands as Pakistan Go Hard in Final Practice Session Ahead of Opener – News18

Bas though is not bogged down by the weight of expectations and the quality of the opponents and proclaimed that the Netherlands are eying a semifinal berth.

“We want to make the semifinals. If we want to get there, we’ve got to win four or five games, so we’d have to take down one of the big teams, like you said, but that’s our main target. If we get there, we play our best cricket, amazing. But if we play our best cricket and we don’t get there, I reckon we can still be proud of ourselves,” he said.

Bas de Leede has been the Netherlands’ best player in recent times, notwithstanding the vital century in the Super League fixture that sealed the deal for his team, he too has some personal milestones that he wants to tick at this World Cup.

“When I was younger, I wrote down that I wanted to make 100 in the World Cup. That’s something that I would like to tick off. But I haven’t gone into this tournament saying I want to do this or do that because I’d be equally happy if someone else did it and it wasn’t me. No, I haven’t gone into this tournament saying I want to tick off that or I want to tick off that. Whatever happens, happens. Sometimes you get a good ball on a day and you might get out for a Golden Duck and sometimes they drop it and you’re able to score runs. I think I want to define myself and define our team in the way we play, not necessarily the results we get,” he added

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