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World Cup flashbacks: Nolan Clarke, the Dutch cricketer who once shared dressing room with Garry Sobers

Nolan Clarke

Bengaluru, May 2: Barbados-born Nolan Clarke became the oldest player to take part in the cricket World Cup in 1996 at the age of 47 plus.

He played as an opener in the Netherlands side after the country finished third in the ICC World Cup qualifier in 1994.

Clarke was only one of the three players in the squad who played first-class cricket in the Netherlands that year.

Clarke made his debut for the Netherlands in 1989 when he was 41 and his 77 had helped the orange team to beat an England XI that featured some of the Three Lions' Test players.

He was the Dutch side's top scorer in the ICC Trophy in 1990 but the team was beaten by Zimbabwe in the final and the Netherlands' debut in the quadrennial showpiece got delayed by four years.

In fact, Clarke's made his first-class debut for Barbados in 1970 and in 1973-74. He belted 159 against an MCC side led by Mike Denness, who had captained England in the first World Cup in 1975, during a tour of the West Indies.

He had gone to Spartan CC, one of the best cricket clubs in the Caribbean then where a number of big names had converged. At the age of 19, Clarke had even shared the dressing room with the legend Sir Garry Sobers.

Scored 32 against South Africa

Yet, Clarke remained a member of an associate member in the 1996 World Cup which had failed to win a single game in the tournament, even losing to fellow associate member the UAE by seven wickets.

Clarke, who became very emotional after hitting a match-winning century against Bermuda, where he had spent some time of his life, in the ICC qualifier in 1994 to make it to the World Cup in 1996, had an ordinary run. In five innings, he could manage only 50 runs and his best score was 32 in 46 balls against a strong South Africa in Rawalpindi.

Though the World Cup was all he had in his international career, the West Indies-born Clarke still remained in the game on and off in the Netherlands' domestic cricket.

Following a six-year hiatus, Clarke came back to play for club side VVV when he was 56 and competed with the young players of the time in the domestic circuit to finish with almost 800 runs.

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Story first published: Thursday, May 2, 2019, 16:59 [IST]
Other articles published on May 2, 2019
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