Imports breed success in the Netherlands
Tasmanian Sheffield Shield player Mark Atkinson will return to the scene of past glories when he assumes the player-coach role of Netherlands Premier League club Excelsior'20 CC.
Atkinson led Excelsior'20 to the 1996 Dutch title, hitting 66 not out in the club's 120 run championship play-off win against Hermes CC.
Excelsior'20 came fourth in the 1998 season after previous title wins in 1991 under player-coach Tim Zoehrer, 1993 (Wayne Andrews), 1995 (Sean Carey), 1996 (Atkinson) and 1997 (Zimbabwean Test player Murray Goodwin). The club has established a strong Western Australian connection with Zoehrer, Andrews, Carey and Goodwin all having represented WA. Fittingly the club will visit Perth in February and March of 2000. Excelsior product and Somerset professional Andre Van Troost is currently playing club cricket in Perth.
Amstelveen club VRA won the 1998 Dutch championship under Canterbury (New Zealand) provincial player Craig Cumming, aided by former New Zealand all-rounder Shane Thomson.
Other 1998 overseas coaches in the Dutch League included present Australian Test player Colin Miller (Rood & Wit) and former NZ player Chris Pringle (HCC).