Zuiderent ready to take strain for Dutch team

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2011, 12:17 PM IST

New Delhi: One advantage of batting with Bas Zuiderent is that if a batsman has pulled a muscle or developed cramps, he need not look beyond his partner to fix it.

Many a team in the World Cup has got an additional spinner or batsman but in Zuiderent, the Netherlands have an extra physiotherapist who can chip in if the situation demands.

The Netherlands are an assortment of a handful of professional cricketers and the majority of amateurs.

"I`m a professional physiotherapist, I run my own clinic back home and that`s what I do for a living," Zuiderent told Reuters in an interview, stroking his pony-tail after a gruelling practice session.

"I have got a general practice together with a friend of mine in Rotterdam, near the indoor cricket facility, but we also have a section that deals with top sports like hockey, football, tennis. We get a lot of sports people in our practice."

When it comes to the cricket team, Zuiderent, 33, said he does not interfere.

"I prefer to let them get it sorted out by our team physios. We have very professional physiotherapists working with the team. I try to keep my work separate from my status as a player."

Should an emergency arises, however, Zuiderent says he would not hesitate to help.

"So far, I never had to offer my help. No such occasion arrived. Should it arrive, I`ll be happy to help ... and I won`t charge," said the former Sussex player who played his first World Cup in 1996.

Utrecht-born Zuiderent will turn 34 on the day his team meets South Africa in Mohali on March 3.

He has five years of English county cricket experience, having joined Sussex in 1999, and is one of the middle order batsmen in the squad. Additionally, he was a member of the Dutch team that shocked England in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup opener.

Looking ahead, he said he was adjusting to life in the cricketing spotlight, a stark contrast to the lack of recognition back home.

"India is a cricket nation and the Netherlands unfortunately is not. Cricket is relatively a small sport there.”

"To be in this environment where you switch on TV and you get 3-4 cricket channels is fantastic for us. It`s a privilege to be in India and a fantastic place to play the World Cup."

Bureau Report