Kenya and Netherlands represented minnows in the World Cup 2011. Both lost all the six group matches they played. Yet, the impressions left by both were so different.
Kenya’s Downwards Slide
Kenya is the only Associate nations or minnows (If Bangladesh Tigers or Banana Peel can be termed as minnow) to have ever qualified for a World Cup semifinal. They achieved the feat in 2003 World Cup, when India reached their 2nd World Cup Final. From then on, the debate to provide test status to Kenya started. Yet, after eight years their 6 losses show why they are even minnows among minnows.
Kenyan batting against Australia.
Kenyan C Obuya getting Player of the Match even in the lost cause against mighty Australians.
Losing all 6 matches without much of a fight.
Ironically, the downfall of Kenyan Cricket can be reasoned to the political turmoil and uncertainty (similar to Zimbabwe) than Cricket talents (Case of Bangladesh). Steve Tikolo, the most famous Cricket of Kenya, who was a major force behind Kenya’s 2003 World Cup semifinal effort, retired from international cricket with their last match against Zimbabwe in World CUp 2011. Probably, with him the hope of Kenyan Cricketers to go global also retires, at least for some more years, unless the country gets some political stability.
Netherlands: A Lot in Store
Netherlands, on the other hand, lost all six matches in Group B. They showed occasional spark, specially in the first match against England. They also showed they can play 50-overs in ODI and score around 300. They also showed that besides Ryan ten Doeschate they are a bunch of highly talented cricketers, who can rise the ladders of World Cricket faster, if ICC provides some more opportunities or at least lets them play to other test playing nations more often.
Scoring 292 against England, then second highest against England in WC by any nation.
Scoring 300 plus against Ireland.
Ryan ten Doeschate scoring 2 centuries in the tournament.
Disappointing bowling performances.
Losing all 6 matches, although they did deserve at least one win.
Kenya Going Downwards, Dutch Moving Upwards
Despite the losses, the performances in the lost games showed Kenya is going downwards, whereas Netherlands can soon be a prominent force, at least within Associate Nations, if ICC does not provide them test status.