Ryan ten Doeschate has been tipped to take over as Netherlands' national coach by incumbent Ryan Campbell, who heaped praise on the recently retired Dutch international. ten Doeschate retired at the recent T20 World Cup after 19 seasons as a professional cricketer and has travelled with Netherlands to South Africa, where he will work as a mentor. Campbell doesn't think it will be too long before he will be in the main coaching role.
"I know that he is really keen on his coaching," Campbell said. "He is doing his Level 3 now in England and I have no doubt he has got offers thrown at him left, right and centre. To be honest, I am probably keeping this seat warm because next time we are here, you'll probably be interviewing him as head coach and not me."
For this tour, which consists of three ODIs, ten Doeschate's role is to work with Netherlands' batters. "With our young batting line-up, having someone as calm and as knowledgeable as ten Doeschate in our coaching group, you can't buy that off a shelf. Our youngsters are spending every minute of the day with Tendo and it's going to hopefully improve them as cricketers and as people as well. We hope to keep Tendo involved as long as possible."
Campbell added that last statement because Netherlands have not always been able to hang on to ten Doeschate. He took a break from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup until late 2017, during which time he played as a T20 freelancer and captained Essex. It was only on Campbell's appointment that ten Doeschate agreed to return to the team.
"Tendo left Dutch cricket in 2011, and said it wasn't professional enough, that he had had enough and it was sort of a one-man show," Campbell said. "When I took over the job in 2017, my No. 1 goal was to prove to Ryan ten Doeschate that we had changed and we were a professional outfit and a really good cricket team and, most importantly, it would be something he would want to get back involved in. It's one of my proudest moments as a coach to get him back involved and he's played some amazing games of cricket for us."
In the four years since his return, ten Doeschate has played six List A matches for Netherlands, scoring an unbeaten 65 in their victory over Namibia in Dubai in 2017, and 15 T20Is, in which he scored 319 runs at an average of 39.87 and a strike rate of 135.74. He also continued racking up runs for Essex in red-ball cricket to underline his ability in all formats.
"Tendo left Dutch cricket in 2011, and said it wasn't professional enough, that he had had enough and it was sort of a one-man show. When I took over the job in 2017, my No. 1 goal was to prove to Ryan ten Doeschate that we had changed"Ryan Campbell
"One of the words that gets thrown around way too much in sport is the word great but the fact is that Ryan ten Doeschate will go down as probably the greatest Associate cricketer ever to play the game," Campbell said. "His numbers for the Dutch stack up against the world's best. I think his ODI record is equal, or even in front of Virat Kohli's. Unfortunately, Covid-19 cost us and him the last year and a half or two years of his career. But you can't lose quality people and quality players as a system and so I have tried to move heaven and earth to make sure he gets involved as a coach."
Campbell also has his eye on another South African coach to rejoin Dutch ranks. Enoch Nkwe, South Africa's former assistant coach who resigned before the T20 World Cup, worked as Campbell's assistant in 2017 and has close ties with Netherlands and Associate cricket, which Campbell hopes will result in him heading back to their set-up soon.
"Enoch is a really good coach and he is one of those who want to improve the game. I've texted our high-performance manager to tell him we need to find out about Enoch's plans and see if we can get him back into Dutch cricket."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent