Friday, January 27, 2023

Cricket Netherlands: Willem Molenaar passed away (1945-2022)

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The board and employees of the KNCB have learned with regret of the death of Honorary Member Willem Molenaar.

Willem Molenaar played cricket for VOC, Ajax and VCC. He was a wicketkeeper and left-handed batsman. In 1974 he started umpiring and from 1976 he was active as a Bondsumpire. A knee injury put an end to his active playing career in 1981. After that he devoted himself completely to ‘whistling’, as he called it.

Willem was a beloved umpire. Of course because of his phenomenal knowledge of the rules, but especially because he spoke the language of the players. When he was interviewed in 2007, he said: “Bookings, I don’t like that. I like a little emotion. But the stumps out of the ground don’t strike. Then you go on the receipt. Because the youth players on the side see that too.”

In the end Willem was active as a Bondsumpire for no less than 43 years (!) He played more than 1000 official games in the top- and big leagues and was also active in international games and tournaments, including the ICC Trophy that was held in Kenya in 1994.

Willem was a member of the KNCB Referee Committee for a long time, co-wrote the Competition Rules and gave umpire courses. It was only natural that this huge commitment to the sport of cricket did not go unnoticed. He first became a Member of Merit of the KNCB and was subsequently appointed an Honorary Member of the Cricket Association in 2019. He also received a Royal Decoration for his great merits and selfless commitment to the sport of cricket: Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

We wish his wife and children that they draw strength from the undoubtedly beautiful memories of their remarkable father.

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