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Tom Cooper goes Dutch


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Netherlands cricket has rubbished Tim Gruitjers’ claim he was cheated out of a place in the World T20 squad once South Australia’s Tom Cooper became available.

Gruijters has posted a video on YouTube saying members of the coaching staff bullied him into having medical scans which showed a back injury, which were handed on to the ICC with a request for a late change to the squad.

“It’s a disgrace to cheat and I’d like to say I won’t be a part of it,” Gruitjers said.

“The Dutch coaching staff decided to bend the rules, act against the spirit of cricket and basically cheat.”

Last week it emerged Cooper was available for the upcoming World T20 tournament in Bangladesh because South Australia had not qualified for the Sheffield Shield final, which starts in Canberra on Friday.

Cooper joined the squad over the weekend.

Gruitjers says he has had a back injury for years, but he has learnt how to deal with it.

“I was forced and bullied into having a scan,” he said.

“The scan showed I have a bad back. No surprise there.

“I have had a bad back for years, just like others have had bad shoulders and bad knees.

“My back is better than it has been in a while. I think I am in the best form possible for this tournament.”

Netherlands’ team manager Ed Van Nierop said Gruijters had spoken out because he was under pressure from family after returning home.

The 22-year-old batsman’s fitness was being tracked for several weeks, Nierop said.

“There were doubts about his mobility from early March,” Nierop said on the cricinfo website.

“I was present at the MRI scan and even the medical staff said that he was in really bad pain.

“There were clear, visible issues in his lower back.

“And we will be playing three matches in five days.”

The Netherlands are scheduled to play United Arab Emirates in a Group B clash on Monday.

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