When going Dutch wasn’t fun
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