Not many cricketers can boast a resume as colourful as that of Ryan ten Doeschate. The South African-born Dutch cricketer has played for nearly a dozen top-level teams across four continents and is currently plying his trade for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2013. He has also played international cricket for the Netherlands – he holds the world record for the highest batting average of 67.00.
Despite the rigours of competitive cricket, a frequent flyer like ten Doeschate relishes travelling to different countries and playing in disparate conditions. However, he especially enjoys playing in the IPL and cites winning the league title with KKR in 2012 as one of the highlights of his career.
The 32-year-old spoke to IPLT20.com after his side overcame the Pune Warriors India, in a match in which ten Doeschate chipped in with a valuable 31 runs off 21 balls.
Here are excerpts from his interview:
You have played for various teams across the globe. Currently, how many sides do you play for?
Currently, I play for probably three or four. But I have played for about 10 or 11 teams during my career while travelling across the world, like to India, Australia, Bangladesh, England, Zimbabwe, South Africa and New Zealand. And I have played international cricket as well for the Netherlands.
How do you cope – mentally and physically – with all the travel involved?
Well, first of all, I love it. So that makes a big difference. A lot of guys don’t enjoy staying in hotels and moving around all the time; whereas I actually cherish going to different places and travelling.
And what about getting used to different playing conditions in different countries?
I haven’t always adapted too well to different conditions, in particular in Australia with the extra bounce.
How do you rate your IPL experience as compared to the other leagues in which you have played?
You just can’t compare the fan following here (to any other place). Also, the way the teams look after you is great. The owners and the staff take care of you, and that makes the experience incomparable.
What has been the crowning glory of you career so far?
On a personal level, my 100 against England in India, in the 2011 World Cup, that was special. Also, winning the IPL last year was special, so were winning a couple of tournaments with Essex back home.
Growing up did you only focus on cricket or was there any other sport you fancied?
I played other sports like rugby and soccer apart from cricket. But competitively, I played rugby and cricket.
As a batting all-rounder, how much do you focus on the bowling aspect?
I have struggled a bit with my bowling. But I tend to work very hard at it. You have got to adapt all the time. Since I don’t have a lot of pace, I have to bowl wisely. So I’m always trying to find ways to bowl better that way.
How much pressure has there been on you and your team as defending champions this year?
We have always tried to use it in a positive way. I don’t think we have done particularly badly this year. I just don’t think we have won crucial moments of the game. However, we have certainly channeled the pressure of being defending champions into a way that would work out for us this year.
After today’s performance, do you think you are the missing link in the KKR line-up?
No, I wouldn’t say that. There are obviously a lot of good international players here. Like when I come in, a quality player like Ryan McLaren has to sit out. So you have got to wait your turn. And that is probably one of the toughest things you have to do, as you have got stay fresh and stay ready (for when your turn comes). That is the hard part about being in a group of eight or nine good overseas guys like in KKR.
Apart from swinging a cricket bat, you are also known for swinging clubs on the fairway. Is your golf swing anywhere as good as your big hitting?
I have been winning all the friendly prizes with my teammates here so far. For me, golf is definitely a great escape from cricket; it’s very competitive, but at the same time it can be very relaxing.