Why did you relinquish the captaincy of the Netherlands hockey team and announce your retirement from the international stage?
I am just 29 and young enough to play many more years. But after the London Olympics this summer, I felt it was a good time to retire. I am happy with the decision.
You’ve been travelling around the world. Why did you want to learn yoga in Goa?
I love India and wanted to see the south. Goa felt good. Kerala is next.
Does the quest for spirituality come before hockey for you now?
The quest for spirituality is a lifelong journey. I love hockey and know how to balance the two.
You are going to play for the Hockey India League (HIL) from January 16.
Yes, I will play for Ranchi. I am the only Dutch player in the squad and hope that they don’t regret having selected me.
What do you think of Indian hockey?
The players are quite brilliant and hockey runs in their blood. They need to believe in themselves and the board needs to support them.
What do you think of the IPL-kind auction for hockey in India?
It was interesting. But there was a big difference in prices among the players being auctioned, some of which I didn’t understand. But I’m just happy that I can play for HIL.
Who are your favourites among the current crop of hockey players?
Sardar Singh is smart and has great style. It’ll be a challenge to play against some of them.
What else are you passionate about?
Cricket, football, theatre and concerts.
What fascinates you about India?
It’s chaotic, like I am. The weather’s great. The food delectable and, of course, Gandhi.
I want to come to India again and play here. I also want to organise special camps for children. I’m also thinking of starting a family.
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