In recent years, Ryan ten Doeschate – the Essex and Netherlands all-rounder – has become something of a Twenty20 expert and he can now lay claim to also being an international jet-setter as in the past couple of months he has been playing Twenty20 cricket in Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Australia. Indeed, at the end of December, ten Doeschate played on consecutive evenings in the latter two countries, travelling around 3,200 miles between the back-to-back games in which he was on the winning side on both occasions.
His trans-national adventure began on December 29 when he played for Canterbury against Northern Districts at Village Green in Christchurch. Ten Doeschate made 14 and took 2 for 10 as Canterbury won by 60 runs. He then caught a plane to Perth where, 24 hours later, he was in action once again at the WACA where he made 12 and took 2 for 3 for Tasmania against Western Australia as the home side were beaten by 63 runs.
His journey marked the end of a four-week spell playing for Canterbury in the HRV Cup and the start of a stint with Tasmania in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, and all after a month in Zimbabwe during November when he played for Mashonaland Eagles in the Stanbic Bank T20 competition.
The flying Dutchman’s efforts emulated those of Daniel Vettori who in January 2010 travelled from his native New Zealand to Australia and back again, and in the process played three games in the space of four days. On January 12 he played for Northern Districts against Otago at Queens Park, Invercargill, taking 1 for 19 and making 18 as his team were beaten by ten runs. Twenty-four hours later Vettori was in action for Queensland against New South Wales at Olympic Park, Sydney where he took 1 for 6 and scored 3 not out as his new side won by 54 runs. Then it was back into the air again as the Kiwi headed to The Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui where Northern Districts were in Twenty20 action against Wellington. Despite his time in the air, Vettori took 2 for 19 and struck 39 as Northern Districts won by six wickets.
The long-distance journeys of ten Doeschate and Vettori for back-to-back Twenty20 matches are in contrast to some of the tales from the county circuit about the journeys which the county sides of the 1920s and 1930s in particular made by train, often in the dead of night, loaded down with all their kit and with their bodies aching after a long day in the field. How the county professionals of the inter-war era must have wished they could have flown by jet aircraft from the South Coast up to Northern England, rather than having to endure train journeys of six hours or more.