Bertus de Jong 24/08/21
HCC have come under fire after the emergence a photograph, obtained by TK cricket, of the Hague club’s match-planning white board in the side’s dressing room ahead of their 17th round Topklasse match against Punjab Rotterdam. The whiteboard was discovered by Punjab players following the conclusion of the match on Sunday August 8th. Together with the team selection and a series of tactical goals for the match in question, the slogan “Let’s back each other, stick together and Beat the Behenchods! [sic]” appears, the latter being an obscenity in Urdu and Hindi loosely translating as one who has sex with his sister.
A little over a week ago HCC controversially left the field and refused to continue their match against VOC Rotterdam after VOC batsman Dirk van Baren allegedly directed a racial slur at the HCC wicketkeeper Yash Patel. HCC then successfully appealed after the KNCB awarded the game to VOC, the Commissie van Beroep determining that the match must instead be replayed. VOC declined to contest the rescheduled game last Sunday, citing concerns over the risk of further escalating tensions.
The emergence of the photograph leaves HCC open to charges of hypocrisy, and calls into question the sincerity of their stand in regards the VOC match. The teams match against Punjab was itself not without controversy at the time, as HCC’s improbably slow over rate in the final phase of the rain-affected match prompted suggestions that they were attempting to avoid likely defeat by forcing an abandonment. In the event Punjab went on to win the game regardless, leaving HCC needing a single point to ensure progression to the playoffs.
The awarding of the VOC fixture to HCC meant that as things stand HCC are set to progress to the playoffs, either in second or in third place – the exact final standings being the subject of another unrelated controversy regarding the precedence of tie-breakers in the competition. Should they be awarded second place it would set up a rematch with Punjab Rotterdam in the preliminary final on Sunday.
HCC Chairman Jan Nuijten told TKcricket “HCC takes this matter very seriously, and issue has been discussed with the team who are preparing their apologies to offer to Punjab. It is regrettable that this matter has emerged publicly before these could be made, though the chairman has already offered his apologies in a personal capacity. While the white board was intended only for internal use and was not intended to be seen by or directed at the opposition, nonetheless the use of such language is unacceptable and not in the Spirit of Cricket.”
The KNCB declined to comment on the situation at this time.