Cricket pundits often tout sir Don Bradman’s Test average of 99.94 as the record that would probably never be broken, and if ever it gets broken, it would require some Himalayan effort. In the recent times, I do not remember even a single player who has even come close to achieving that milestone. If we look at the current lot of players, Steve Smith’s average of 62.49 is highly regarded but is nowhere close to the talismanic Bradman’s average of 99.94.
However, it is a different ball game in ODIs. Batsmen need to score at a brisk pace and are at a higher risk of losing their wickets. Anything over 45+ is considered a decent batting average in ODIs.
In spite of such odds, it is quite amazing how Dutch cricketer and former Kolkata Knight Riders star Ryan Neil ten Doeschate has maintained a Bradmanesque career average of 67.00 which is the highest average in the one-day international format of the game (minimum 20 innings). He has scored 1541 runs in 33 matches with a career-high score of 119.
Born in 1980 in Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, South Africa, Ryan Ten Doeschate grew up in South Africa and always had aspirations to play for South Africa.
However, he was a late bloomer, and by the time he started playing serious cricket, it was not difficult for him to realise that his dreams of playing International cricket would be relatively more straightforward to achieve if he shifted base to the Netherlands, which was possible courtesy his Dutch passport.
He is a professional cricketer and globe-trots around the world playing T20 cricket. He has played cricket in different countries including franchises in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash, New Zealand’s Twenty20, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Indian Premier League, South Africa’s T20 Challenge and even T20 cricket in Zimbabwe.
The right-handed all-rounder though known for his record of the highest ODI batting average is more than a decent bowler as well. He bowls medium fast and has taken 55 ODI wickets from 33 matches with a career high of 4-31.
He was first noticed during his domestic career for Essex for whom he has played some exemplary knocks and since then gone on to be regarded as one of the finest the Non-Test playing countries have ever produced. No wonder, he has been named ICC Associate Player of the Year on three occasions, in 2008, 2010, and 2011.
Recently, ICC named ten Doeschate as one of the ten players to watch ahead of the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament. He had returned to the Dutch side after a long hiatus but could not make it a memorable one as the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.