RiP Honorary Life Member KK Vervelde

We regret to inform members that KK Vervelde, an Honorary Life Member of the Forty Club, and an Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, passed away on the 27 May 2018.

Klaus Karel Vervelde joined XL in July 1972 when he was already becoming well-known in Dutch cricket. He started his cricket career with Sparta 1888, was later to be a founding father of Cricket  Alkmaar, and also joined our sister club SGS. He was President of all three at various times, as well as being the SGS tour manager to Denmark in 1973 plus the tour the following year to UK. He was elected as an Hon Life Member of XL in 1990.

Klaas was a visionary.  In the 1970s he brought together the better Dutch players and organized tours to South Africa, then excluded from international cricket as a result of the apartheid policy in South Africa.  The arrival of the Klaas Vervelde’s Cricket XI touring team was welcomed by the South African cricket federation.

Although convinced that an international sports boycott was not a solution to fighting apartheid politics in South Africa, he was sure that there was a lot to be gained for the Dutch top-level cricketers in that country. Cricket legends Joe Paminsky and Ali Bacher became important associates for him. The Klaas Vervelde XI trips became a household name, and the team included strong players such as Hilton Ackermann, Tony Opatha, Jack Richards, Barry Allum, Dick Abed, Nolan Clarke. By default a number of talents for these tours were invited to be part of the efforts to build a strong Dutch national team for the future. Later followed also tours to the West Indies and Sri Lanka, where the team was always accompanied by a large crowd of supporters. The Dutch national cricket was still in its infancy at the time and was limited mainly to friendly matches against the Free Foresters and a number of fixtures with opponents who toured Europe and England.

Those who participated in the Klaas Vervelde tours, or were present at the corresponding  ‘home games’, will remember his exceptionally funny speeches. Apparently ‘off the cuff’, he managed to spellbind his audience, not least because before he had uttered the joke, he had already clearly enjoyed what was to come. Klaas was a gifted speaker.

In later years, under the KNCB chairmanship of Steven van Hoogstraten, van der Sloot, Wilts and Vervelde joined forces – vd Sloot became manager of the Dutch national team, Wilts became the organizer at the KNCB and Vervelde the supporting force of the organization of Top Cricket Netherlands within the cricket federation. It was only then that it became clear what benefits the Vervelde tours had brought to Dutch cricket. Two ICC Trophy finals in 1986 and 1990 were lost to Zimbabwe, but Dutch national cricket had made huge progress and was firmly established.