Paul Adriaan van Meekeren, born on 15th January 1993, is a name that resonates with cricket enthusiasts worldwide. This Dutch cricketer has carved his path in the cricketing world, showcasing his prowess as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast-medium bowler. While his journey has taken him across the globe, van Meekeren’s dedication to the sport remains unwavering.
A Journey That Knows No Borders
Paul van Meekeren’s cricketing journey is marked by his versatility and his ability to adapt to different playing conditions. He has plied his trade in various corners of the world, leaving an indelible mark wherever he has played.
English County Cricket
His association with English county cricket includes stints with Somerset and Durham. Van Meekeren signed a short-term deal with Somerset County Cricket Club in July 2016, a move that eventually evolved into a two-year commitment until the end of the 2018 season. During his time with these English counties, he showcased his skills and added valuable experience to his cricketing repertoire.
T20 Franchise Cricket
The allure of T20 cricket has taken Paul van Meekeren to different franchise leagues across the globe. He represented the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in T20 franchise cricket, further enhancing his reputation as a dependable fast bowler in the shortest format of the game.
Van Meekeren’s journey in international cricket began when he donned the Dutch jersey. He made his T20 International (T20I) debut for the Netherlands on 20th April 2013, and one month later, on 31st May, he earned his One Day International (ODI) cap against South Africa. His debut ODI performance included the prized wicket of Hashim Amla, a moment he cherishes in his career.
One of the highlights of Paul van Meekeren’s career came during the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 tournament. In a match against ICC Full Member Ireland, he bowled a match-winning spell of 4 for 11 runs. This remarkable performance remains one of his best figures in T20I cricket, showcasing his ability to rise to the occasion.
In January 2017, during the Inaugural Desert T20 Challenge, van Meekeren etched his name in the record books. While batting at number 11, he broke the record for the highest score by a number 11 batsman in Twenty20 Internationals, scoring 18 runs from just 11 balls. His achievement of hitting multiple sixes as a number 11 remains unmatched in T20I cricket history.
Life as a professional cricketer has its ups and downs, and Paul van Meekeren has shown resilience in the face of challenges. In November 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he took on the role of a delivery boy for Uber Eats to make a living. His determination to continue pursuing his cricketing dreams and his aim to qualify for England, having gained UK citizenship, illustrate his unwavering commitment to the sport.
Continuing the Journey
As Paul van Meekeren continues his cricketing journey, his signing for Durham in July 2021 for the 2021 T20 Blast marked another milestone. He became the first Dutch player to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) when he joined the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for the 2021 edition.
In September 2021, he was named in the Dutch squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, affirming his status as a key player for the Netherlands. Later that month, he signed a two-year deal with Gloucestershire, embarking on a new chapter in his cricketing career.
A Bright Future
Paul Adriaan van Meekeren’s cricketing journey is a testament to his talent, dedication, and adaptability. As he continues to make strides in the world of cricket, his performances on the field will undoubtedly inspire aspiring cricketers and fans alike. Van Meekeren’s story reminds us that the love for the game knows no boundaries, and it is this passion that propels him forward, one delivery at a time.