Zuiderent raring to go against West Indies

By Pragya Tiwari, IANS
Sunday, February 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - Bas Zuiderent cannot wait to take on the West Indies in their World Cup Group B match. The veteran Dutch batsman rues his early dismissal against England in their opening match but says he is keen to make amends Monday.

Zuiderent,33, has the rare feat of playing in all the four World Cups the Dutch have featured in and feels the Orange shirts have it in them to pull off quite a few upsets.

The middle-order batsman was only 18 when he and the Netherlands made their World Cup debut in 1996 in the sub-continent. He showed his talent by stroking 54 against England. The memory of the knock has not turned foggy for Zuiderent.

“It was 15 years ago,” he smiles. “But yes, it was special.”

“It was unfortunate that I got out against England in our opening match (Wednesday). Hopefully, I will get some runs against the West Indies. I am looking forward to playing (Monday),” Zuiderent told IANS.

His role, since his 1996 World Cup, has changed now and the lanky middle order bat does his all to guide the youngsters in the team, which comprises of only four professional players. He himself is a physiotherapist and runs a private clinic.

“Most of my team mates are working part time. Some are studying finance, some work in fast food joints and I am a physiotherapist. But despite all that we share a good bond and work hard at our cricket. There is a great team spirit and a self-belief that we have it in us to take up the best. We are a fit squad and well prepared. If we play to the best of our abilities we can give hard time to any team.”

“I have been here (India) four times, it is a great place to play cricket. I am a bit aware of the conditions here and help the guys with my experience. The boys know how to play in these conditions.”

The Dutch surprised everyone with their spirited performance against England. Their effort was not only acknowledged in the sub-continent but also back home.

“Cricket is not acknowledged back home as much as football. Our performance against England got massive response at home. We have got good coverage in the media, which is rare. It means a lot to us and has motivated us to do even better,” said Zuiderent, who played for English county Sussex.

Zuiderent said the team has learned from their mistakes in their opening match and will look to get better with each game.

“Our strategy will be to play positive cricket. We have to get our basics rights, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding. We have guys who have the experience. The guys have the belief that if they get their basics right, they have the potential to spring a few surprises.”

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