Ryan ten Doeschate: 10 interesting facts about the Dutch all-rounder

Ryan ten Doeschate, born June 30, 1980, is a Dutch cricketer whose One-Day International (ODI) record is extraordinary. On his 37th birthday, Shiamak Unwalla looks at 10 interesting facts about the man who can turn games with both bat and ball.

1. Not a local: Though ten Doeschate plays for the Netherlands, he was actually born in Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, South Africa, where he learnt his cricket.

2. Sportsman through and through: Like most South Africans, ten Doeschate enjoyed playing a wide variety of sports. Apart from excelling at cricket, he was a rugby player as well. He also enjoys golf, which he considers a great way to disconnect from cricket and relax.

3. A late bloomer: Surprisingly, ten Doeschate started doing well on the cricket field quite late in life. As a result, by the time he was ready to play serious cricket he was already in his 20s. This meant that he was nowhere in the South African scheme of things. Playing for South Africa was always his first preference.

4. Making the switch: Having a Dutch passport meant that ten Doeschate was eligible to play for the Netherlands. Once it became clear that he would not play for South Africa, ten Doeschate shifted allegiance to the Netherlands, where he had tremendous success.

5. Bradmanesque in ODIs: The answer to the question among all batsmen with at least 1,000 ODI runs, who has the best average? is ten Doeschate. In 33 ODIs, he scored 1,541 runs at a staggering average of 67 with five centuries and nine fifties. He scored two tons in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, one of which nearly resulted in a defeat for England.

His contributions do not end with the bat though; ten Doeschate also has 55 wickets at 24.12 including three four-wicket hauls.

6. IPL pioneer: Indian Premier League (IPL) teams usually shy away from selecting associate players. The likes of Kevin O Brien have been up for auction multiple times but have found no takers. By being picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders, ten Doeschate became the first cricketer from an associate nation to play IPL.

7. Love for India: Having played the 2011 World Cup as well as IPL in India, ten Doeschate has said that his favourite country to play cricket in is India. He cites the immense passion fans have for the game as the reason he loves playing in the country. In addition, he said that he loves the culture in India, and to his credit he has experimented with street food without suffering any disasters!

8. No home base: Given that ten Doeschate was born and brought up in South Africa, he considers Port Elizabeth his home. However, he has also played for a whole army of teams including but not limited to Netherlands, Otago, Essex, KKR, Mashonaland Eagles, Tasmania, Canterbury, Chittagong Kings, Adelaide Strikers, Gazi Tank Cricketers, Legends of Rupganj, Impi, Clacton-on-Sea, Folkestone, Haydock, Lashings World XI, and more.

9. Essex veteran: Though he has played for such a vast number of sides, ten Doeschate would perhaps identify the most with Essex, for whom he has played for since 2003. He has excellent numbers in First-Class cricket. He has 9,263 runs at over 49. He also has 211 wickets at less than 34.

10. Associate player of the year: Not surprisingly, ten Doeschate was named ICC Associate cricketer of the year three times: in 2008, 2010, and 2011.

(Shiamak Unwalla is a proud Whovian and all-round geek who also dabbles in cricket writing as a reporter with CricketCountry. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)