Scott Edwards may not be a common cricket name yet but if there is one thing that inspires the young Australian wicketkeeper to do, it is the chance to play in a home World Cup.
It will not be for Australia, but the excitement of playing on the global stage in front of family and friends will be the same regardless.
The 25-year-old has established himself as the Dutch goalkeeper-batsman over the past three years and will face South Africa in a three-match ODI series starting in Centurion on Friday night Australian time.
It is the first time the Dutch have to play against South Africa in a bilateral series that is longer than a one-off match and the importance is not lost for the young Australian.
It is also the first of a series of major coups for a new Dutch side scheduled to play series against England, the Caribbean, Pakistan and Zimbabwe over the next two years.
“It’s pretty amazing, it’s what you as an associate cricketer dream of,” he told cricket.com.au from South Africa.
“Usually you only get it once every couple of years, maybe in a World Cup if you manage it, but we have six or seven series in the next two years, it’s pretty exciting.
“When you play cricket, most guys want to play as loud as they can, so it’s pretty surreal to have the opportunity to play at Centurion against one of the best teams in the world.”
The South African squad lacks people like Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, but still has the hard-hitting batter David Miller, fast bowling all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius and the world’s second-ranked T20I bowler Tabraiz Shamsi.
“It will always be a strong side … they are still extremely experienced and strong, we are well aware of what we are facing,” Edwards said.
“We thrive on it, it’s a great opportunity, and that’s what you want to do as a semi- or professional cricketer, is to play and impress on the big stage.
“The ODI Super League was a great thing for Associate Cricket, giving all Associate nations a chance to play in this 13-team Super League, which has recently been announced as a one-time thing.
“It’s a little bit disappointing that it does not go on again, but all we can do is keep trying to perform on the world stage whenever you can, and hopefully from there win some respect, win some battles against big teams, and cricket is getting more diverse around the world. “
Edwards comes after a fantastic Australian summer last season where he claimed the Jack Ryder medal as the best and fairest player in Victorian Premier Cricket.
He hit 637 runs at 45.5 by two centuries, while also claiming 22 layoffs (20 catches and two stumpings) in a season that put him on the radar of state voters.
Edwards was included in Victoria’s Winter Academy program, but was away with international commitments ahead of the Netherlands’ latest T20 World Cup campaign, a tournament won by Australia.
It was a tough tournament for the Dutch, which resulted in them being bundled out in the first group game without winning a match, but it has made the right-handed player even more determined to mark himself in next year’s event hosted by Australia for.
The Dutch will first qualify for the preliminary group stage with qualifiers for Oman in February and Zimbabwe in June and July, but provided they do so, the matches are scheduled for Melbourne and Geelong in Edward’s home state of Victoria.
“It would be the dream to play in front of a lot of family and friends,” he said.
“I have a year and a half of good cricket with Holland (Edwards is a contracted player with the Netherlands) so that’s my main focus and whatever happens around it is amazing.
“It’s still a bit of a pinch yourself moment to travel around the world and play cricket.”
The Tongan-born Edwards qualifies to play for Holland through his grandmother, who was born there and only joined their national team in 2017 after playing a season over there during the Australian winter.
After the three-match ODI series ends next Wednesday, Edwards returns to Melbourne to play for club team Richmond before his next international commitments in February.