When go­ing Dutch wasn’t fun

Mid Day - - Daily Dossier -

It was a meet­ing of two hockey ri­vals at Ot­ters Club last week, when leg­endary Dutch­man Floris Jan Bove­lander met In­dia’s Edgar Mas­caren­has at the In­dia Nether­lands Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tionor­gan­ised Value of Sports in Work, Life and Busi­ness’ panel dis­cus­sion. Se­ri­ous talk aside, both play­ers re­called the fun part of Indo-Dutch hockey re­la­tions in their hey­day, back in the 1990s. “We never quite en­joyed play­ing against the much taller Dutch­men, who were an in­tim­i­dat­ing sight even dur­ing warm-ups, at the 1990 World Cup in Pak­istan. We par­tic­u­larly feared Bove­lander for his dreaded drag flicks. He had the same grip for flicks and hits, so at penalty cor­ners, he had our de­fence con­fused, al­ways guess­ing what he might ex­e­cute. And I’ll never for­get the whirring sound of his pow­er­fully flicked de­liv­er­ies,” Mas­caren­has told this di­arist. In­ter­est­ingly, the strap­ping Bove­lander re­vealed that his play­ers had fears of their own too. “We were al­ways fear­ful of the skil­ful and wily In­dian and Pakistani hockey play­ers. They would dodge you so ef­fort­lessly that it could make you look pretty silly,” he con­firmed.

Floris Jan Bove­lander and Edgar Mas­caren­has at Ot­ters Club; (top) Bove­lander dur­ing his peak in the ’90s

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