Steve Rouse to support Dutch Cricket in 2013

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 3:16 PM

Steve Rouse has been appointed Consultant Head Groundsman to the KNCB for the 2013 International Programme as part of the ICC’s Targeted Assistance Performance Programme Grant.

Rouse who was previously Head Groundsman at Warwickshire CCC’s Edgbaston Test Match Ground in the UK for 17 years will work on all major International Matches in the Netherlands. Commencing in early April Rouse will visit the Netherlands to perform a series of venue inspections of the grass wicket clubs to assess the surfaces for the season after a long hard Winter of troublesome weather patterns.

He will then be involved again in mid- May to help and guide the preparations for the South Africa One Day International on May 31st. The purpose of the South African visit to the Netherlands is primarily to train and get used to northern hemisphere conditions and they will be arriving on May 26th for that purpose. VRA goundsman Paul Polak and Rouse will prepare and repair up to 12 playing surfaces in that period together with the match-day surface for the ODI. Rouse will also support the programme later in the Summer with the Ireland matches and any other Full Member Cricket that the KNCB have in the pipeline for August.

Rouse has a strong connection with the South African team and knows the types of surfaces that they need going into the ICC Champions Trophy Event in June as he has not only worked at Edgbaston but also at Newlands, Cape Town on occasions. He also worked for the KNCB in 2012 on various occasions in the lead up to the Bangladesh series as well as the Sky TV Game versus Leicestershire. He returned at the end of the 2012 season to support many of the clubs in putting their squares to bed for the Winter. He is well respected by many of the clubs with his likeable attitude and prolific work ethic.

Rouse said today “I have been fortunate to prepare nearly 150 international playing and training surfaces during my time at Edgbaston and am aware of the demands of an International Full Member when it comes to this type of bi-lateral series. These days are hugely important for Dutch Cricket in any number of ways and any support I can give to Paul and the KNCB team is only going to benefit the aspirations of the organisation to get higher status. Of course we cant control the weather but we have to get it as near perfect as possible for the week – its going to be a challenge but one I am looking forward to immensely”

Rouse also played First Class Cricket for Warwickshire picking up 270 wickets as a lively left arm seamer, opening the bowling with former England bowler and TV Commentator Bob Willis,as well as a further 190 wickets in One Day Cricket. He knows the game.

Richard Cox (KNCB CEO) commented: “Te focus of getting South Africa’s preparation right in the week leading up to the match is key. Many interested observers are focussed on the game itself but to us the whole package has to be right and thanks to the TAPP funding we are now able to ensure we do the utmost to achieve our goals in this area and to provide all the players of SA and the Netherlands with top quality surfaces. I have been extremely fortunate to work alongside Steve in all of those 17 years at Edgbaston - him on the ground preparation side and me in the player preparation areas leading up to the Tests etc – it sets the tone for the whole match if you get the preceding days right – we need to deliver”.

Of all the contracts KNCB have put in place with the TAPP programme the signing of Rouse could just prove to be the key one of the lot in ensuring greater amounts of International Full Member Cricket comes to the Netherlands because there are hotels, opposition and cultural opportunities the world over but if you don’t get your surfaces right Full Members tend to go play and train and that is not what Dutch Cricket wants. It has been 9 long years since a Full member last visited the Netherlands when the 2004 Videocon Cup was staged. Again this is another sign that Dutch Cricket is on the move and is a key indicator to the progress of the KNCB.

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