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After hockey, Dutch delight in cricket

india Updated: Jun 07, 2009 02:54 IST

Watching the Netherlands celebrating their biggest moment of glory took me back to the summer of 2001. I was playing as an overseas professional for one of the clubs and hence I played with or against all these guys at some point.

Those days they had only a couple of 'turf' wickets in the entire country and the cricket was mostly played on jute matting on very small grounds. These grounds used to be hockey fields --- their number one sport --- and were used for cricket for only three months in a year. I remember playing against Reekers who was playing as an overseas coach/player for a club called Quick Haag. The ground was one of those small ones which we call 'carom board' in India. He hit quite a few into the stands and out of the park.

The whole of the country used to look up to their favourite son Bas Zuiderent because he was the only guy playing in the English county.

They would follow his progress in the county circuit and would brag about his abilities. He was playing at VOC. A couple of years ago, I met him at Lord's while playing for MCC. He told me that he wasn't sure how long he'd be playing competitive cricket.

Little did he know that two years later in the same dressing room, he'd be celebrating his biggest moment in cricket!