Where Are They Now: Andre van Troost
It may be more that 20 years since he played his last game for the Club but Andre van Troost is still talked about regularly when the conversation gets round to Somerset fast bowlers in the recent past.
We caught up with the Dutchman recently to talk about his time in Taunton.
“It all seems a heck of a long time ago now,” he said. “We had some really good times when I was at Somerset. I first came over to Taunton when I was 15 in my summer holidays. I had played a game against Free Foresters and bowled pretty fast on Dutch wickets when they were concrete. Peter Roebuck heard about that and he invited me over to play for the Seconds.
“Aged 15, 16 and 17 I came over in the summer for between four and six weeks and then, when I was 18, I finished my A Levels and signed my first contract. It was quite a journey, but I loved every minute of it.
“It was a pretty special time for me to be a teenager in another country living with other cricketers. Not being able to cook I went out to McDonald’s every night for six weeks. One year Peter Anderson put me up in the County Hotel, which was fantastic place in East Reach where Waterstones now is.
“I had my own double room right next to McDonalds and literally I spent my whole summer holidays bowling fast and eating Big Macs, so they were pretty special times for me for sure.
“When I first played for Somerset Neil Mallender was opening the bowling at the other end, and then when Caddy qualified I opened the bowling with him and Mal came on first change, which he wasn’t always too happy about!
“Of course I started off okay for a few years but then I sort of got sidelined with injury after that. I think my best bowling was in my first years at Somerset, and then I became a ‘horses for courses’ type of player and if it was a fast wicket then I would get a game, but that was only about half of the games, which was fair enough.
“I took six for 28 against Essex at Taunton in 1992 and that same year took six against Surrey at the Oval. They were my best in the Championship for Somerset.”
Andre’s best score came in 1993, a game he remembers well.
“My 35 against Lancashire in 1993 I remember very well. That was the only time I think we won a game because of my batting! That was an extraordinary game, which was Marcus Trescothick’s first ever match. We were down and out really when I went in and played the only way that I could play, which was hit the boundary or get out.
“That day I did hit a few, one of which was when I hit Peter Martin for six and even though I made that score we still didn’t think that we had a chance, but then Caddy bowled like a legend and we won the game because of him. Yes, I scored a few runs which did help.”
Sadly at the young age of 26 Andre retired from the First Class game.
“My back was absolutely knackered by then because in those days nobody told you to take it easy. I played for 12 months a year and in the winter I would go to South Africa, so I was bowling fast all year round, which took its toll.
“Then at 26 I had the option of a back operation after which I knew I couldn’t bowl as fast anymore and couldn’t get into the first team, so I decided to go to university for four years and then go out to work!
“I was at Cheltenham and Gloucester University and then I went to Birmingham University to do a Masters and then I started working for Procter and Gamble for five years. Then they offered me a job back in Holland, so I returned and have been here ever since.”
Andre talked about his current cricketing involvement.
“I am in charge of sponsorship for my local cricket club, where my brother is the chairman. I don’t play anymore and if I do I am just a batsman.”
Despite being in Holland the Flying Dutchman remains in contact with the Club.
“I try to get back to Taunton every year because I just love being there. I loved my time with Somerset and after spending almost nine years there it feels like my second home.
“I stay in touch with people at the Club and I went to Lord’s last summer and had a chat with several of the players, including Pete Trego and Jason Kerr. I try to follow Somerset wherever they are. If they are in London it’s easy because I can just fly over.
“I have so many fond memories of my time with the Club. I used to love talking to the Somerset supporters. They were all so friendly. I would like to wish everybody back in Taunton a very Merry Christmas and hope to see you all in 2019.”Back to News