Cricket: Dutch in line for Benson and Hedges Cup

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The Independent Online
THE NETHERLANDS, who on Saturday qualified for the next World Cup, will be entering the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1995, writes Glenn Moore. Exactly how they take part will be decided, in what is likely to be a fierce debate, at the Test and County Cricket Board's spring meeting this week with two proposals on the agenda for the competition's return to the zonal format.

The Board want six groups of four each containing a minnow (Combined Universities, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Minor Counties East and West). Sussex's counter-proposal, however, envisages four groups of five including the 18 counties, the Universities and one other team to be decided by a qualifying round the previous summer.

Sussex argue that each county are ensured two home games and a variety of opponents - the Board's plan is for fixed geographical groups. Ironically, as Sussex are paired along with Kent, Essex and the Netherlands they will be guaranteed two home games initially. Until the Netherlands produce grass instead of matting pitches, they will play all their games away from home.

Among other matters is the proposed upgrading of Harry Brind as a full-time inspector of pitches when he retires from overseeing The Oval at the end of the summer. Brind currently does a similar job part-time.