Ryan ten Doeschate, the Otago Volts and Netherlands allrounder, has said that the chance to play more games and shoulder greater responsibility played a key role in his decision to join the New Zealand domestic T20 side.
"When I joined the Volts I knew that I'll play 10 games, bat up the order and get to shoulder more responsibilities," ten Doeschate told the CLT20 website. "Here, I will have to take more onus and I like that idea because that's the kind of role teams give to their key players. "
Ten Doeschate played a decisive hand in Otago's victory over Kandurata Maroons, first picking up 2 for 9 in his two overs, and then scoring 64 off 32 balls to help guide Otago to a six-wicket win.
While playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, ten Doeschate realised the level of competition for spots among the foreign players. "It is very different, mindset more than anything else," he said. "But you've got to accept that you are not playing games for certain reasons, and in all the big teams it is difficult to even get a handful of games. That was one thing that was very appealing to me when I went to New Zealand last year.
Ten Doeschate was due to play for Essex in the current English county cricket season, but with Ravi Bopara deemed available again, he was allowed to join Otago for the Champions League campaign. "I love coming to India and have been looking forward to this competition. It was only at the last moment that I was told I wasn't required at Essex and that I could come here and join the Otago Volts, which was great news.
"Hopefully, we can win the main draw of the competition but this (qualifying in the Group stage) in itself is a wonderful achievement for the guys. New Zealand is one of the smaller cricket nations in the world, and a place in the main draw is very well admired and deserved."
During the HRV Cup, this year, ten Doeschate finished second on the runs-scorer list with 401 runs in 10 innings at an average of 50.12, but insisted it was the performance of the team as a whole which made the difference. "I might have got the most runs in the HRV Cup, but there are guys who contributed throughout the tournament. I believe that's why we have been so good in the last 12 months or so."
He also had praise for his captain Brendon McCullum. "Brendon is a seasoned international cricketer and I think it would be foolish to suggest anything else other than he is the guy we look at to carry our hopes. But again, everyone has to chip in and sometimes, a 25 not-out is just as crucial as a 70 or an 80.
"For instance, Hamish Rutherford is a fantastic talent and someone who is consistently scoring 20-30 runs now. Yes, there are match-winners in every team and it's nice to have a few guys who we can turn to for big performances. They give us a good chance in the main draw."
Otago next face Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 20 in a dead-rubber as both sides have already qualified for the group stage.