Timm van der Gugten knows what it is like to play against the top nations in the world and now his Dutch team are dreaming of more success at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. 

The Australian-born bowler was part of the Netherlands side that made it to the Super 10s phase of the 2014 edition, taking a wicket as the Dutch beat England in the second greatest upset in their history – after their maiden win over the English five years earlier at Lord’s. 

The format in the United Arab Emirates and Oman is slightly different this time around, with a round-robin group of four teams battling it out for two spots in the Super 12 – with the Netherlands up against Ireland, Sri Lanka and Namibia. 

And for Van der Gugten, a standout performer for Glamorgan this season, a repeat of the 2014 exploits is very much the priority. 

He said: “Just get the sport out there to more people in the Dutch community would be lovely, I was lucky enough to experience it 2014, getting out of that group stage and playing against the likes of Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and New Zealand.  

“For me, I’d love the other people in the squad who haven’t experienced that to be able to experience it. Because it’s something I’ll never forget, it’s some of the hardest but also the most enjoyable cricket I’ve had as well. We got to that stage when we probably weren’t expected to get there but you just play with freedom and then you understand where you have to be at as well because you are coming up against the best players in the world.  

“For the country it would be a great thing and for cricket in Holland as a whole, but for the individuals who are out here, I think that would be a massive experience and learning curve for all of them.” 

To do so, the Dutch will likely need to beat Ireland, with Sri Lanka expected to top the pool.  

They met in the qualifier for the tournament, with the Netherlands coming out on top at the semi-final stage, while they also got the better of the Men in Green in a recent one-day series. 

Despite that recent edge in meetings between the two, Van der Gugten insists it would be a mistake to believe his side have a psychological ascendancy. 

He added: “There’s not much that separates us, we’ve probably had a little bit of the wood over them recently, but there were a few years where we couldn’t win at all.  

“We have played against Ireland quite a lot so there’s the positive that we do know a lot about their players, but in saying that, sometimes complacency can come into that if you’ve played a team too much. On the flip side, they have played us a lot so they know a lot about us as well.  

“We’ll be going in confidently but we know that we need to play well to be able to get over the top of them.” 

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