T20 World Cup: Netherlands' Sybrand Engelbrecht Retires From International Cricket

(MENAFN- IANS) Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 17 (IANS) Shortly after Netherlands' campaign in the 2024 T20 World Cup ended with an 83-run defeat to Sri Lanka, Sybrand Engelbrecht has announced his retirement from international cricket, said the Royal Dutch cricket Association in a statement.

Engelbrecht, born in Johannesburg in South Africa in 1988, had made his international debut for the Netherlands in 2023 at the age of 35. He did play in the 2008 Men's U19 World Cup for South Africa, where he took a blinder of a catch to dismiss a young Virat Kohli in Jonty Rhodes-style.

After that tournament, Engelbrecht went on to represent the Cape Cobras from 2008/09 to 2015/16) and Western Province (2009/10 to 2016/17) in all three formats of South Africa's domestic cricket circuit.

Engelbrecht played a crucial role in Cobras' famous win against the Barbados Tridents in the 2014 Champions League, where he defended 11 runs in a Super Over, after being called into the side as a replacement for JP Duminy.

In 2016, he left cricket to focus on a career in project management, and armed with an MBA degree from Stellenbosch Business School.

Engelbrecht came to the Netherlands in 2021 due to his employer Fairtree, and got into playing club cricket at Voorburg CC, who he captained to winning the Dutch Topklasse championship in 2023.

When the Netherlands qualified for the ODI World Cup in India last year, Engelbrecht was selected and became the leading run-getter for the side in the tournament, amassing 300 runs in eight innings, averaging 37.50 at a strike-rate of 66.66, including two half-centuries.

In what was his final one-day international game, Engelbrecht also took a fantastic outfield catch against Bangladesh, which further established his reputation as an outstanding fielder in the game.

But it was his full stretch superhero-like save at deep midwicket and catch the ball over his right shoulder, to flick it back pas the boundary cushions to deny Angelo Matthews a six which sent the social media into a tizzy, as seen from it clocking a million views on Instagram reels.

"Initially, when he hit it, I kind of moved in. I knew there was a wind, but I didn't think he hit it that well. So I had to kind of back-track a little and kind of stuck the hand out. I suppose it's a little bit lucky," said Engelbrecht in the post-match press conference about that outrageous save.

In four innings for Netherlands in their recently-concluded Men's T20 World Cup campaign, Engelbrecht made 98 runs at an average of 24.5, to be the leading run-getter for the Netherlands.

"Travelling to the different islands has been a world-class experience. The hospitality has been second to none, the people are super friendly. It's been fantastic. It's a massive privilege to be on the world stage competing against the best in the world, but I think we've tried to prepare as well as we can.

"We really thought that if we play our brand and style of cricket that we can and wanted to put up a bigger fight. I think there'll be a little bit of disappointment in the changing room in general. It's always a massive privilege and we are always very excited to be a part of this."

"But we didn't just come here to fill up the numbers: we really came here to compete, and I do believe that there's enough talent and skill in our changing room to do that. (There are) a lot of learnings that we'll take from this and hopefully, it'll stand us in good stead going forward," he concluded.



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