I hate to think it could be our last Cup | india | Hindustan Times
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I hate to think it could be our last Cup

Bas Zuiderent made his World Cup debut for Netherlands when merely qualifying for the quadrennial event was 'mission accomplished' for the minnows. Having played in the 1996 edition of the mega event in the sub -continent as the youngest members of the squad, this is his fourth outing in the World Cup. Abhijeet Kulkarni reports.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2011 00:07 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

Bas Zuiderent made his World Cup debut for Netherlands when merely qualifying for the quadrennial event was 'mission accomplished' for the minnows. Having played in the 1996 edition of the mega event in the sub -continent as the youngest members of the squad, this is his fourth outing in the World Cup.

Zuiderent (33), now a veteran who also runs a physiotherapy clinic back home, shoulders the responsibility guiding youngsters.

He spoke to Hindustan Times about his journey, the struggle of an amateur cricketer and the way forward.

Q: You are the only Netherlands player to have played here in 1996. What is the difference between the team then and now?
In 1996 the team comprised older players, most of them on the wrong side of 30s. This time, however, we have a young side. More importantly, the team now has a completely different dynamics.
We had a talented lot in 1996, but professionalism was missing.
Although most of us are still amateurs, what with just three professionals in the team, we act like professionals, train like professionals and live like professionals.

Q: But how difficult is it to continue this way?
It's very difficult. I run a physiotherapy clinic back home. I am away for seven weeks now. Thankfully someone else takes over my work. But it still costs me dear.

What advice you gave to amateurs before coming here?
We need to keep things simple. When you go out to bat, it's the bowl that you have to hit, not the bowler. Similarly, when you are bowling, you shouldn't think who's facing you. You have to mentally block that out. I know it's difficult to achieve.

Was it difficult for you in 1996?
I didn't make any adjustment. I was very young (18) then and I just saw it as a challenge. It just happened. I loved the atmosphere. I could bat decently and enjoyed my fielding.

Q: And you still became second youngest player to make a
half-century in World Cup.
Yes, after Sachin. That's something. But listen I wasn't anything special. Maybe because I was just 18 and playing for an associate country, it became big.

If ICC has its way, this could be Netherlands last World Cup?
I think it is ridiculous. It's a real shame. I hate to think that this could be the last world cup Holland may ever play.