Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal said he saw several of his players "naked" when he called them to inform them of his World Cup squad selections.

The Oranje have named their 26-man party for Qatar 2022, with a string of surprise selections and omissions in Friday's announcement.

Uncapped trio Xavi Simons, Jeremie Frimpong and Andries Noppert have been included, but there is no place for Bayern Munich's Ryan Gravenberch or Newcastle United's Sven Botman.

Speaking on the calls to inform prospective squad members ahead of the announcement, Van Gaal reflected on the difficulty of his selections, while revealing he caught several players unawares.

"It was really tough," he said at a press conference. "I even took the time difference into account for the people in England. I saw naked players, because they were still in bed!

"I've said a hundred times I think this group is fantastic. But this is about the vision of the national coach. I discovered that this morning when I told a player he would not attend a World Cup. It is not easy."

Other major names missing from the Netherlands' first World Cup squad for eight years – they famously missed Russia 2018 – include Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma and NEC goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

Having missed their return to tournament football at Euro 2020 through injury, Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk will skipper the side, where he will wear the OneLove armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

FIFA has already warned against such political action in Qatar, but Van Gaal says he is not interested in the governing body's stance, instead preferring his captain's opinion.

"I think it's not important what FIFA thinks," he added. "It's about what our association thinks, how the national manager thinks about but mostly what Virgil van Dijk thinks.

"I can say something about the situation, that doesn't make a difference. [Liverpool manager Jurgen] Klopp said it the right way, and I totally back him on his opinion.

"We are going to play there, and we won't often think about the fact that things aren't done the right way. There are so many things that are not okay, even in our country."

Uncapped trio Andries Noppert, Jeremie Frimpong and Xavi Simons have been named in Louis van Gaal's Netherlands squad for the World Cup, but there is no place for Sven Botman or Ryan Gravenberch.

Van Gaal has opted for Bayer Leverkusen right-back Frimpong over Newcastle United centre-back Botman, while in midfield 19-year-old Simons secures his spot ahead of Gravenberch – who has struggled for minutes since joining Bayern Munich.

Gravenberch's Bayern team-mate Matthijs de Ligt does make it, while Premier League defenders Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake are also both unsurprisingly named along with Manchester United's Tyrell Malacia.

In midfield, Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong is in alongside Atalanta duo Marten de Roon and Teun Koopmeiners, with Ajax's 20-year-old Kenneth Taylor also looking to add to his two caps to date.

PSV's Cody Gakpo is the standout name in attack, along with Barcelona's Memphis Depay, but there is no spot for Borussia Dortmund's Donyell Malen or Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma.

The Netherlands begin their World Cup campaign on November 21 against Senegal, before also facing Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.

Netherlands squad: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Andries Noppert (Heerenveen), Remko Pasveer (Ajax); Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Nathan Ake (Man City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Jurrien Timber (Ajax), Denzel Dumfries (Inter), Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia (Manchester United), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen); Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax), Xavi Simons (PSV); Cody Gakpo (PSV) Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Vincent Janssen (Antwerp), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noa Lang (Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Besiktas)

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma says he will not make an "emotional" decision over his future as skipper after his side's shock exit from the T20 World Cup.

The Proteas fumbled their final game against an impressive Netherlands side, coming up short in a 13-run loss that allowed Pakistan to capitalise and leapfrog them into the top two.

That sends the latter and India through to join New Zealand and England in the knockout stages of this year's tournament, leaving South Africa out in the cold after just two wins.

Having missed out on qualification to the semi-finals a year ago following an inferior net run rate, it marks the second successive T20 World Cup in which they have underperformed, but Bavuma is in no rush to decide his next steps.

"It's been a tricky time," he stated. "To be considering that now, a lot of it will be emotional, in terms of my role as captain within the team. It's something I will think about. I will speak to the relevant people.

"We have to see who comes in as a coach. Generally when you have changes like that, they might come in with a different style.

"They might find a different leader to execute whatever vision or style of play that they have. It will be emotional now if I think about all of that."

Bavuma admitted the burden of captaincy amid frustrating tournaments for his side had been near the front of his thoughts, adding: "Mentally, it does eat at you as a player.

"You try to manage your mental space as much as you can. You try to control what gets to you but with social media, whatever is being said out there always gets to you.

"I always try to keep a level head, through all the good and the bad times. I try to be as close to myself as possible. Not just for myself but for this group. We are going to take a lot of flack as a group and rightly so."

The Netherlands have produced a stunning upset to knock South Africa out of the T20 World Cup after a 13-run victory at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

The Proteas simply needed to beat the associate nation to secure their spot in the semi-finals but allowed the Netherlands to score 158-4, including 45 off the final four overs, before falling apart in the chase, to be 145-8

South Africa's slip-up means the winner of the Pakistan-Bangladesh game at the same venue in fine conditions will finish second in Group 2 and take on Group 1 winners New Zealand in the semis at the SCG on Wednesday. The Proteas' loss also means India go through and top Group 2.

Player of the Match Colin Ackermann was heroic for the Dutch with an unbeaten 41 from 26 balls, helping their late charge, before Brandon Glover (3-9) and Fred Klaassen (2-20) starred with the ball.

South Africa's pursuit never got going after the loss of openers Quinton de Kock (13) and Temba Bavuma (20), but they seemed in a winning position at 90-3 in the 13th over, needing 68 off 46.

Yet it all fell apart for the Proteas with wickets tumbling, as Klaassen had Aiden Markram caught by Stephan Myburgh before Glover grabbed two quick wickets to dismiss potential game-winner David Miller for 17 and Wayne Parnell for a duck. From there, South Africa's tail could not get them near the target.

Van der Merwe delivers the key moment

Roelof van der Merwe's brilliant catch running backwards to dismiss danger man Miller was arguably the moment of the match. South Africa had six wickets left, needing 47 off 29 balls, when Miller mis-timed a hook shot, which was lofted towards fine leg but the 37-year-old never took his eyes off the ball and pulled off a diving effort to re-claim any momentum the Proteas had at that stage.

Another South African World Cup disaster

South Africa's loss and subsequent elimination will be tough to swallow. The Proteas, who have never made a T20 World Cup final and have an inglorious past in the 50-over version, appeared destined for the last four for the first time since 2014. Instead, they suffered their first-ever loss to the Netherlands across any format.

Wayne Parnell explained the motivation he takes from Cristiano Ronaldo as the bowler looked towards South Africa's T20 World Cup clash with the Netherlands.

Ronaldo has altered his goal celebration as of late, replacing his famous "Siu" with a "peace of mind" gesture, seemingly in response to his trouble at Manchester United this season.

It is a celebration that has been copied at the T20 World Cup by South Africa paceman Parnell, standing with his eyes closed, fingers crossed in front of his chest and his head rolled back.

Parnell has taken five wickets so far in Australia, helping South Africa to two victories in Group 2. Ahead of their final match of the pool stage against the Netherlands on Sunday, the Proteas sit in second place, and a victory over the Dutch would guarantee their place in the last four.

And in his pre-match press conference, Parnell explained how he takes inspiration from one of the world's finest footballers.

He said: "It's the Ronaldo celebration. He has always been one of my favourite footballers, and I've obviously followed his career quite closely.

"And I think I've kind of taken on some stuff that he has been going through, you know, as a professional athlete and someone that's very competitive and passionate about doing well.

"That's something that I've always wanted to do as well is contribute to the team's success."

It is not all about emulating an idol, though. For Parnell, it is also about enjoying playing in front of crowds again following the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's just about having fun as well," Parnell added, "I think, you know, we're very lucky to be playing this sport and to be able to do it on this world stage.

"Obviously, there's no COVID, so we have fans back, and it's just about entertaining everyone."

Looking ahead to South Africa's must-win game on Sunday, Parnell said: "I think now it's just really simple. If you actually look at it, tomorrow is basically a quarter-final. Then obviously if we win that, we go to a semi-final. If we win that, we go to the final.

"In a way it's actually worked out well where we are under a certain amount of pressure to obviously get through, but I always like to look at it from a positive point of view where it's basically a quarter-final. It's just about winning it really."

Max O'Dowd made a gutsy half century as the Netherlands recorded a deserved five-wicket win over Zimbabwe, who are all but eliminated from the T20 World Cup.

Paul van Meekeren set the tone with the ball, taking 3-29 as Zimbabwe were knocked over for just 117 in a poor batting display at the Adelaide Oval.

Sikandar Raza made a brisk 40 off 24 and Sean Williams 28 off 23 to ensure there was not total humiliation but no other Zimbabwe batsman made double figures.

Dutch opener O'Dowd scrapped his way to 52, making eight fours and one six, to set the chase up nicely.

Tom Cooper also played a part with 32 off 29. Richard Ngarava (2-23) accounted for Colin Ackerman (1) and Scott Edwards (5), while Blessing Muzarabani ended O'Dowd's knock but the Netherlands had enough to get over the line.

Zimbabwe are fourth in Group 2 with just one more Super 12 game to play, while the Dutch remain rock bottom but at least get in the win column.

Mohammad Rizwan crafted a fluent 49 as Pakistan eased to their first victory and kept their hopes alive at the T20 World Cup after a six-wicket triumph over the Netherlands.

Babar Azam's side suffered final-over heartbreak against both India and Zimbabwe in Australia, though had little trouble at Optus Stadium after restricting the Netherlands to just 91-9 on Sunday.

Shadab Khan tore through the Dutch batting line-up, with the leg-spinner taking 3-22. Colin Ackermann's 27 from as many balls represented the only Netherlands batter to pass 20 runs.

Despite Babar being run out by Roelof van der Merwe for just four, Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman steadied the ship before the latter fell to Brandon Glover for 20, leaving Pakistan 53-2 from 7.1 overs.

Rizwan survived a review on 39, a decision overturned after Logan van Beek failed to get his hands under a chance from Fred Klaassen's bowling, though the wicket-keeper batter was dismissed soon after.

Paul van Meekeren (1-19) had Rizwan caught behind in the 13th over and Shan Masood (12) followed to Glover (2-22), though Iftikhar Ahmed (six not out) and Shadab (four not out) saw Pakistan over the line with 37 balls to spare.

Spin torments Netherlands

Shadab and Mohammad Wasim (2-15) did the damage as the Netherlands failed to deal with Pakistan's spin bowling.

Mohammad Nawaz went wicketless from his two overs but also conceded just 11 runs as Pakistan limited the Netherlands to a score that ensured no final-over chaos was in store for Babar's side.

Pakistan reliant on other results

Pakistan will have been delighted to see Fakhar, returning from a seven-week absence after a knee injury, bat fluently in the middle order as they picked up victory in a must-win game.

Yet even if Babar's side defeat South Africa and Bangladesh in their remaining Group 2 games, they will need other results to go their way to make the top two, starting with India beating the Proteas later on Sunday.

Virat Kohli made another half-century as India took another step towards the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 56-run victory over Netherlands at the SCG.

Kohli's magnificent unbeaten 82 gave India a dramatic win over Pakistan on Sunday and he followed that up with 62 from 44 balls as India posted 179-2 in Sydney on Thursday.

Captain Rohit Sharma struck 53 from 39 deliveries after being dropped by Tim Pringle on 13 and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out off 25) also made a half-century to leave the Dutch facing a substantial run chase.

Netherlands never looked like pulling off a huge upset, falling short on 123-9 as they suffered defeat in as many Super 12 matches.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-9) took the wicket of Vikramjit Singh and did not conceded a run in his first two overs, while Axar Patel (2-18), Ravichandran Ashwin (2-21) and Arshdeep Singh (2-37) also impressed with the ball.

Victory for India moved them a point ahead of South Africa, who hammered Bangladesh by 104 runs earlier in the day, at the top of Group 2.

 

Kohli goes back-to-back, Suryakumar shows his class

A Kohli masterclass gave India a sensational victory over Pakistan at the MCG and the former captain carried on where he left off in another classy knock.

He reached his half-century in 37 balls, hitting two sixes and finding the rope three times in another high-quality innings.

Suryakumar, number three in the T20I batting rankings, hit seven fours and reached his half-century by launching the final ball of the innings from Logan van Beek for six.

The brilliance of Bhuvneshwar 

India also demonstrated the potency of their bowling attack and it was Bhuvneshwar who set the tone.

He bowled back-to-back maidens and cleaned up before returning to get rid of captain Scott Edwards in his second spell.

Taskin Ahmed took four wickets as Bangladesh beat Netherlands by nine runs in their first game of the T20 World Cup at Bellerive Oval.

Afif Hossain top scored with 38 as the Tigers were restricted to 144-8 in their opening Group 2 game in Hobart on Monday.

Paul van Meekeren (2-21) and Bas de Leede (2-29) claimed two wickets apiece to keep Bangladesh down to a total that the Dutch would have felt they could chase down.

Paceman ensured it was advantage Bangladesh by taking two wickets with the first two deliveries of the run chase, dismissing Vikramjit Singh and De Leede.

Netherlands were deep in the mire at 15-4 after Max O'Dowd and Tom Cooper were run out, but a half-century from Colin Ackermann gave them hope.

Ackermann struck 62 off 48 balls, but he lacked support and the Dutch were all out for 135.

Taskin too hot to handle

It was an impressive spell with the ball from Taskin, who took four wickets in a T20I for the first time in his career.

His figures of 4-25 earned him the player of the match award, removing Ackermann and Shariz Ahmad after his brilliant first over. 

Ackermann shows resistance 

It proved to be in vain, but Ackermann impressed with the bat after coming in at number four.

He scored two of Netherlands' four sixes, while also hitting six fours as to prevent his side from being embarrassed. 

Sri Lanka beat the Netherlands by 16 runs to reach the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage and the Dutch also qualified after the United Arab Emirates broke Namibia's hearts.

Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka suffered a shock defeat to Namibia in their first game of the tournament, but avoided an early exit by responding with victories over the UAE and Netherlands.

A brilliant knock of 79 from 44 balls by man of the match Kusal Mendis enabled Sri Lanka to post 162-6 at Kardinia Park on Thursday, Charith Asalanka also chipping in with 31.

The Netherlands fell short on 146-9 in reply, spinners Wanindu Hasaranga (3-28) and Maheesh Theekshana (2-32) stepping up when Sri Lanka needed them, with opener Max O'Dowd's unbeaten 71 in vain.

That left the Dutch's fate out of their hands, but UAE came to their rescue by dramatically securing their first T20 World Cup win to knock Namibia out in Geelong.

Muhammad Waseem top scored with 50 and captain Chundangapoyil Rizwan made 43 not out in UAE's 148-3. A victory would have seen Namibia advance with Sri Lanka, but they were beaten by seven runs after being restricted to 141-8.

David Wiese's half-century in a stand of 70 with Ruben Trumpelmann looked to have put Namibia on course to qualify, but he was out 55 in an excellent final over from Waseem

Group A winners Sri Lanka face the runners-up in Group B in their Super 12 opener at Bellerive Oval on Sunday, while the Netherlands face Bangladesh at the same venue in Hobart a day later.

Karthik Meiyappan's historic hat-trick was in vain as Sri Lanka thrashed the United Arab Emirates by 79 runs after Netherlands moved to the brink of the T20 World Cup Super 12s.

Sri Lanka suffered a shock defeat to Namibia in the first game of the tournament on Sunday, but responded with an emphatic win over UAE at Kardinia Park.

Pathum Nissanka top scored with 74 from 60 balls as the Asia Cup champions posted 152-8, Meiyappan (3-19) becoming the first UAE player to take a T20I hat-trick.

Sri Lanka had been 117-2 in the 15th over, but a late collapse did not prove to be costly as UAE were skittled out for only 73 in 17.1 overs.

Wanindu Hasaranga claimed brilliant figures of 3-8 from four overs, while Dushmantha Chameera (3-15) and Maheesh Theekshana (2-15) also sparkled under the lights to leave Sri Lanka in third place in Group A, level on points with Namibia with an inferior net run-rate.

The Netherlands are two points clear at the top of the group after bringing Namibia back down to earth with a five-wicket victory.

Namibia posted 121-6 and the Dutch got home with three balls to spare, Bas de Leede named man of the match after making an unbeaten 30 and taking two wickets.

England have the opportunity to gain a measure of revenge on Italy for their Euro 2020 final defeat after the two nations were drawn together in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley in London on July 11, 2021 to win their first European Championship title since 1968.

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions had opened the scoring through Luke Shaw, but the Azzurri levelled via Leonardo Bonucci.

And spot-kick misses by Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka proved costly for England, who had hoped to win a first major title in 55 years.

The two will tussle again – twice – on the road to Germany 2024 after being drawn together in qualifying Group C in Sunday's ceremony, which was held in Frankfurt.

Nevertheless, both teams will still expect to reach the finals given the top two in each group progress to the tournament - joining them will be Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta.

It was North Macedonia who knocked Italy out of the World Cup qualifying play-offs earlier this year.

Group B is another standout after the Netherlands were drawn alongside reigning world champions France in a pool that also contains Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar.

Spain will be confident of plotting a way through Group A, which also contains Scotland, Norway, Georgia and Cyprus, though Belgium may face a slightly sterner examination after being grouped with Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan and Estonia.

Qualifying is set to begin in March 2023 and conclude eight months later, with the winners and runners-up of each group going straight through to the tournament.

The remaining three teams will be decided in March 2024 via a play-off section, which will be made up of 12 group winners from the 2022-23 Nations League.

If a Nations League section winner has already qualified for Euro 2024, their play-off place will pass to the next best-ranked country from the same league.


Draw in full:

Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus
Group B: Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar
Group C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta
Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkey, Latvia
Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group F: Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia
Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, San Marino
Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra
Group J: Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Liechtenstein

South Africa will host England in a rearranged one-day international series early next year.

The two sides were due to contest the three-match series in 2020, but England flew home following the Twenty20 International matches due to concerns about COVID-19.

Temba Bavuma's side will instead face the world champions at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on January 27 and January 29, with the series finishing at the Kimberley Oval on February 1.

The Proteas will also take on West Indies in two Tests, the first starting SuperSport Park on February 28 and the second getting under way at The Wanderers on March 8.

South Africa then face three ODIs and as many T20Is against the Windies before two matches versus the Netherlands in the 50-over format.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Pholetsi Moseki said: "South Africa is fast becoming the home-soul for international cricket. We are a proud cricketing nation, with abundance of talent, grit, and temperament for the game.

"CSA is thrilled to be hosting England, West Indies and the Netherlands, all worthy opponents, in what is billed to be an exciting summer of international cricket.

"This is principally good news to our fans who have been starved of the blend of cricket on offer at stadiums since 2020 pandemic. These bumper fixtures confirm that cricket in South Africa is indeed open for business.

"As we look forward to hosting these cricketing powerhouses, we invite our fans to swell the stadiums in numbers to support the Proteas as they lock horns with the best in the world."

Barcelona pair Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay are facing a spell on the sidelines after returning from international duty with the Netherlands carrying injuries.

De Jong left the field at half-time during last week's Nations League win over Poland, while Depay hobbled off later in the same game.

Neither player featured in Sunday's win against Belgium after being given permission to return to club side Barcelona early.

Barca confirmed on their official website on Monday that both players remain injured and are not being considered for selection against Real Mallorca next weekend.

Reports from Spain suggest De Jong could return within a week, but Depay is facing closer to a month out of action with an injury to his left thigh.

The news comes on the same day that Barca announced Ronald Araujo is to undergo thigh surgery on Wednesday, ruling the defender out for the remainder of the year.

Fellow centre-back Jules Kounde also suffered an injury on international duty with France and is expected to miss a month.

Louis van Gaal praised the Netherlands' discipline in their 1-0 Nations League victory over Belgium on Sunday despite describing his team as having played "very badly". 

Victory over Poland on Thursday meant the Oranje only needed to avoid a heavy defeat to their neighbours at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam to seal top spot in Group A4 and progress to the Nations League Finals next year.

A result of that nature never looked like materialising, with Virgil van Dijk securing three points for the hosts in the 73rd minute – the centre-back's sixth goal for his country, four of those being headers from a corner.

The result extended Oranje's unbeaten run to 15 games (11 wins, four draws) since Van Gaal was reappointed for the third time in August last year, while it also saw Van Gaal move level with Dick Advocaat as the manager with the most wins in charge of the Netherlands (37). 

"We lost the ball so much and in simple situations," he told NOS. "Just like against Poland, only now even more. 

"That also had to do with Belgium, who put more pressure on the ball, especially in the second half. We certainly didn't play our best game.

"Belgium are very strong in terms of quality. They have a lot of individual quality. [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Eden] Hazard; those are top players. The Belgians did very well from the back. They were the better team today.

"I told the players that we played very badly, but we didn't give away many chances. 

"We also had the greatest opportunities, especially at the end. I think [Steven] Bergwijn and [Davy] Klaassen should have scored.

"This is a disciplined victory and that's nice. Although we were second best for 90 minutes, we still continued playing our game and were disciplined."

Marten de Roon replaced the injured Frenkie de Jong in midfield and Van Gaal was pleased with how the Atalanta man contained De Bruyne.

"I thought [De Roon] was one of the better players," he added. "He gave few balls to the opposition and defensively picked up De Bruyne, who walked a little further away from our pit bulls. He did that very well."

One of those "pit bulls", substitute Tyrell Malacia, also received praise from Van Gaal, who said the Manchester United man also did well in shackling De Bruyne.

"I put him on the left of the central defence because De Bruyne played a lot on that side," Van Gaal explained. "It's better to have a pit bull like that instead of someone like [Daley] Blind who tries to solve it tactically. 

"I had already discussed this with him the day before yesterday. The defensive work he did very well."

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