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The Story Of Paul Van Meekeren: From Uber Eats Delivery Boy To Netherlands’ Cricket World Cup 2023 Star

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 witnessed a remarkable upset as the Netherlands secured their first victory of the tournament by defeating the previously unbeaten South African team.

In a 43-over-per-side contest, the Dutch successfully defended a total of 245 runs, limiting the Proteas to just 207 runs. The key to this triumph lay in the exceptional performances of various players, ranging from skipper Scott Edwards to the pace of Logan van Beek and the spin of Roelof van der Merwe. Among these heroes, one name that stands out is seamer Paul van Meekeren, a player who, remarkably, was delivering food for Uber Eats in 2020 to make ends meet.

Van Meekeren played a pivotal role in the Netherlands’ victory by taking two crucial wickets, dismissing Aiden Markram and Marco Jansen. These breakthroughs were instrumental in the Dutch team’s efforts to defend their total of 245 runs. The shockwaves sent through the cricketing world by this unexpected victory were not just due to the upset itself but also because of the remarkable journey of players like Van Meekeren.

The Story Of Paul Van Meekeren: From Uber Eats Delivery Boy To Netherlands’ Cricket World Cup 2023 Star

In a tweet from 2020, Van Meekeren candidly revealed that he had resorted to delivering food for Uber Eats after the Men’s T20 World Cup was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His story is a testament to the resilience and determination of players who, despite facing challenges and uncertainties, continue to pursue their passion for cricket and strive for excellence on the international stage.

“Should’ve been playing cricket today now I’m delivering Uber eats to get through the winter months!! Funny how things change hahaha keep smiling people,” he had posted on social media.

In an interview, Van Meekeren admitted that he had to take up a job at Uber Eats to make ends meet as cricket had witnessed an indefinite break due to the pandemic.

“I had enough savings but they’re savings that I don’t want to touch,” he told The Cricketer during a chat three years ago. “But I’ve dipped so deep into my reserves now that I had to think about what I was going to do this winter, because there isn’t going to be any cricket. I need some income,” van Meekeren said.

“At the start, I was looking for a job to just cover the simple things like petrol, food, rent, phone bills and those kinds of things,” he said. “But then, I also wanted to be as flexible as possible if any cricket opportunity did come up – whether with the Dutch team, franchise cricket or a chance to train with a county. That’s what happened and I’ve been very open about it to my friends: I was never ashamed of the fact that I was going to do it,” he added.

Paul Van Meekeren, known for his unwavering determination both on and off the cricket field, serves as a prime illustration of the resilience that Dutch cricketers have displayed on their remarkable journey. His journey from a chapter in his career that he’d likely rather not revisit is a valuable lesson in fortitude and unwavering commitment, serving as an inspirational example for many others facing similar challenges.

Thank you for reading.

Prachi Rajan - 850 Posts

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