They may have ignored the Prince of Kolkata during the player auction, but Shah Rukh Khan's Knights added the Dutch flavour to the IPL, signing Ryan ten Doeschate on the last of the two-day affair.
Doeschate, The Netherlands' face in the cricketing world, became the first player from a
non-Test playing country to be part of the IPL family when he emerged a surprise pick of the Kolkata Knight Riders for a price tag of $150,000.
Besides being the backbone of the Dutch team, the right-arm medium pacer, who is a consistent scorer in the middle-order as well, has established himself as an integral part of the Essex team in all formats of the game. The 30-year-old proved his Twenty20 credentials by emerging as the 'Most Valuable Player' in the HRV Cup, New Zealand's T20 tourney, representing the Canterbury Wizards.
Despite his heroics on the field, the Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Bangalore last October was shocked with his IPL foray. "Honestly, it was a surprise. I never expected I would be picked. But it really is a pleasant day for me and I will try to give my best if given an opportunity," Doeschate said in an e-mail from Tasmania, where he is participating in the Big Bash, Australia's domestic T20 championship.
More than being a part of the IPL frenzy, Doeschate was thrilled that his cricketing exploits were being acknowledge worldwide. "This has been a year of good performances for me and I am happy I have got recognition in as far a place as India," Doeschate said.
"I have seen a few matches played in India on television. There seem to be great crowds in stadiums and I think it will be great fun."
The player of South African origin signed off on a confident note, saying he could tackle the conditions in India well. "I have played for Essex (England) and Canterbury (New Zealand), and the conditions were helpful for bowlers there," he said.
"But I have heard that in India, conditions suit the batsmen, so as a bowler you need to adopt some different strategies to be successful. Hopefully, I can adapt well and score a few runs."
Desconstructing the 2nd day