Cricket World Cup 2011
Ten Doeschate: No SA regrets
Ryan ten Doeschate (AFP)
New Delhi - Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate's boasts an extraordinarily high one-day average but that is no consolation for a career that might have been.
The Netherlands's talisman is one of the umpteen South African exports to international cricket who chose England, the country where he honed his skills, to prove his credentials.
The 30-year-old all-rounder hammered a 110-ball 119 and returned to claim two English wickets to walk away with the man of the match award even though his team narrowly went down in their World Cup Group B match in Nagpur on Tuesday.
Ten Doeschate's phenomenal 71-plus average in one-day internationals notwithstanding, one handicap of playing for an associate (non-test playing) team is that he does not get enough quality opponents which rankles the Port Elizabeth-born cricketer who qualifies through Dutch ancestry.
"(It is) a major frustration for me," the all-rounder told reporters on Friday after the team's practice session at the Services Cricket Ground adjacent to the airport.
"It is what it is. If I had done better when I was younger, I had the opportunity to play for South Africa. Not a fault, but you know it was not in my hand.
"I developed better pretty late and the opportunity is obviously now a lot less.
"Playing for Holland is an opportunity nonetheless and it's a great privilege to play in a tournament like this," a reflective ten Doeschate said, his voice occasionally drowned out by the whirring of the descending aircrafts.
He, however, does not regret the decision to relocate.
"At that time, it was the only decision available to me."
Far from lifting his mood, ten Doeschate's Thursday trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra, some 200-odd kilometres from the Indian capital, had rendered the player sick.
"I spent 11 hours in the bus and that's why I'm sick today." Like his game, ten Doeschate's views also stand out as he spoke about the need for associate teams to embrace Twenty20 cricket.
"I think Twenty20 gives small countries the best chance," he said.
"My personal belief is that Holland should really focus on Twenty20 cricket and then 50-overs cricket ... I think Twenty20 cricket has the easiest skills to master."