Emerging Cricket recently spoke to Dutch international Shane Snater about his cricketing journey. Alongside his Netherlands career, Snater has played for English county cricket side Essex and recently made his debut for the Southern Rocks in Zimbabwe during the first-round of the Logan Cup. He is one of the many impressive players from Associate Nations performing in Full Member competitions.
Describing his early days in the sport, Snater says ‘I started playing cricket in Zimbabwe, having grown up playing for my school. After finishing school, I then visited the Darren Lehman academy in Australia and went to the Netherlands to play club cricket. After my first year there I got the call up for the national team’.
When asked about his career highlights, Snater picks out the two key moments: ‘representing the Netherlands and getting my first county contract.’ On his international debut, Snater recalls that ‘it was an incredible experience making my debut for the Dutch cricket team. I am extremely proud and honoured to wear the orange jersey with a great bunch of lads.’
2021 represents not only a busy year but a crucial year for Dutch cricket. Due to the effects of the ongoing global pandemic, a number of ICC Cricket World Cup Super League series were postponed. The postponements have meant that the Dutch men’s team are still yet to play their first game in the competition. When it happens, Snater believes that the competition can have a meaningful impact on cricket in the Netherlands.
‘It’s obviously massive for the development of all Dutch cricket. For us to have a chance to be able to compete against the best of the best, it’s only inevitable for us to improve. Over the last few years already we have seen big improvements just by playing more cricket, so hopefully, the world can sort its self out and we can go back to playing cricket like we used to.’
Alongside the ODI Super League, the Netherlands will be competing in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, which could see the team gain automatic qualification for its next iteration if the team finishes within the top 12. In the event that the team does not finish in the top 12, the Netherlands will go into the global qualifier event which is scheduled for 2022.
For Shane Snater, Dutch cricket can use this opportunity to announce themselves on the world stage. Snater believes that ‘It’s a massive opportunity for us. We have worked hard as a unit to get where we are. We are hoping it can go ahead this year so we can showcase ourselves on the big stage.’
Away from international cricket, Snater has been forging an impressive career in England with Essex. Reflecting on his integration into the Essex squad, Snater notes that ‘I’ve really enjoyed my time at Essex. It is a very relaxed change room to come into.’
The 24-year-old has currently played 25 domestic T20 matches, 16 List A matches and four first-class matches, but after signing for the Southern Rocks, this latter figure is more than likely to increase.
The 2020/2021 Logan Cup season marked the Southern Rocks’ return to Zimbabwe’s first-class cricket season after the franchise was dropped in 2014 as part of a cost-cutting exercise. With the team’s reinstatement, many of the team’s previous staff have rejoined, including coach Shepherd Makunura and players Sikandar Raza, Roy Kaia, Innocent Kaia, Tendai Chisoro, and Richmond Mutumbami.
Snater offers initial thoughts on the Rocks set up. ‘I was really impressed with the squad. Everyone was really keen and eager to get playing. It was really nice to be back home and playing competitive cricket again. It would be nice to perform personally and help aid the team in becoming what it once was, after having the progress put on pause for a few years,’ he says.
What of his personal goals for the coming year? Snater accepts that the ongoing pandemic might affect what can be achieved this year, but remains optimistic. Snater states that ‘with the current situation I don’t want to get too carried away with goals.’
‘Everything is so uncertain at the moment, I’m just hoping things can go back to some sort of normality, and I can carry on playing cricket.’
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