Photo Credit: Cricket Netherlands
After an 18-year professional cricket career (with highlights including his 259 runs against Canada in 2005 and two IPL titles), Ryan ten Doeschate announced last weekend that he would end his cricket career as of 2022.
Ten Doeschate’s international career had a long hiatus between 2011 and 2017, but after his return he helped qualify for the T20 World Cup, where he will also compete for the win next month . A fitting and wonderful end to his career in Orange lies ahead.
Orange Team Manager Jeroen Smits looks back with pleasure on his years with Ten Doeschate:
“The first meeting with Ryan must have been sometime in 2000 when we were playing with a Dutch national team on the field of the University of Cape Town, where we heard that we were going to play against a player with a Dutch passport. He made that day “UCT” was already impressed by his improbable effort and full surrender throughout the match. At that moment I did not immediately think that he would become the best player to ever play for the Netherlands. Ryan was a relatively fast bowler at the time , an amazing fielder and real athlete, Batten was not his priority at the time.”
That changed when he was approached by Essex CCC during a tour of England with cricket club Bloemendaal, which he played for one summer. He decided, on the advice of the former English opening batsman and captain Graham Gooch, to go to Australia in the winter to develop as a batsman and thus become an all-rounder.
“His work ethic is unimaginable and I dare to say that in addition to his incredible talent, he has achieved what he has achieved”, continues Smits. “Before we knew it, he had made his debut for Essex and became a fixture there. It took another three years before he would play for the Dutch national team. His first international game was against Sri Lanka in 2006, where Sri Lanka scored an incredible 443 runs, a world record at the time.”
It quickly became clear that Ten Doeschate was really going to make the difference. Not only in the field, but also outside of it. Besides being an insanely likeable guy, ‘Tendo’ is also someone who opened the eyes of the players further. “While we enjoyed a rest in the afternoon after a long training session, Ryan went out with the trainers every moment that he could for some extra throw downs in the nets.”
It is not for nothing that Ten Doeschate has held the world record with the highest ODI average for years. Greats like Kohli, Dhoni and Tendulkar (India) and De Villiers (South Africa) have never been able to drive him out of this place.
Smits: “Ryan not only left a great mark on the game in the Netherlands with his performance, but was also always ready to help other players tactically and technically. He also knew how to lift other players to the next level and his fighting spirit on the field made us all go the extra mile.
I remember well that during a qualifying tournament for the World Cup T20 in England, we watched the TV one evening where a day/night match of Essex was broadcasted live. Ryan also played the stars of heaven there. The game ended late in the evening, but when we got on the pitch in Belfast in the morning Ryan was fully clothed and ready to help us qualify for the World Cup. He did the same for the 2011 World Cup qualifiers in India, for which we played qualifiers in South Africa in February/March 2009. Here too he traveled back and forth between South Africa and England.”
It is certainly no surprise that he was the man who was in the middle of the winning runs on that legendary evening of 2009 when the Dutch defeated England in the opening game of the tournament. He made the Netherlands realize that we participated and that we can also take on big opponents. “The Netherlands will certainly miss Ten Doeschate, but his impact will never be forgotten.”
National coach Ryan Campbell added: “The word ‘great’ is used far too easily in professional sport, but the word sums up Ryan’s career perfectly. He will go down in history as the greatest Associate player ever. Personally, I will always be grateful that he came back to our team after having not played since 2011. He gave this group hope and the belief that we could compete against any opponent. He simply made every player better and will be sorely missed by everyone.”
ODI: 33 matches, 1541 runs, 67.00 avg (highest career batting avg in ODI)
T20I: 22 matches, 533 runs, 44.41 avg (4th highest career batting avg in T20I)