Bas and Babette follow De Leede family tradition
Cricket is in the blood and for many families, a bat manufacturer is too.
Many cricketers today are lifelong Gray-Nicolls advocates because their parents and even grandparents were; there is something about a bat and the emotion of scoring runs with it that simply stays with you.
It appears the same is true of the de Leede family. A cricket dynasty in the Netherlands, the de Leede name has been at the forefront of the sport for decades
Tim de Leede is perhaps the most famous of the family, having played in three Cricket World Cups from 1996 – 2007. In the 2007 tournament, he took the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar, an act sure to throw your name in to the headlines. Tim’s son is Bas, currently in the Nethernlands men’s team, while his niece Babette represents the Netherlands women’s team.
Tim de Leede before one of his three Cricket World Cups.
Tim was one of four boys. His father Frans was a keen cricketer and umpire, and fan of Gray-Nicolls, described by Babette. “He taught his sons how to soften the wood using raw linseed oil on a rag” she explains.
Bas is one of the current stars of the Dutch side was and excellent in the recent series against Nepal. “My cousin Bas has preferred Gray-Nicolls since the very start of his career” continued Babette. “Like his Dad, he’s an exceptional talent who debuted for Voorburg CC aged 14, and made his debut for the Netherlands aged 18. His much talked about match winning 81* v Nepal was recently made with a Gray-Nicolls bat.”
Tim was a Gray-Nicolls user from the very beginning. “I was super happy with my Gray-Nicolls GN500 PRO BALANCED 4 Scoop junior bat - I must have been 10 years old. I hit my first six on the main field of HBS” he said.
“Later I resold the bat to my teammate Marco Raad, who was in my class (and in our cricket team). Ten years ago, during a cricket clinic at a primary school, a boy comes up to me and says: “My father asked me to give this to you.” It was a bat in an old Gray-Nicolls cover. I take the cover off and see my 1978 4 Scoop! "Is your father Marco Raad?" I asked the boy who confirmed that with pride.”
Babette’s own father Patrick was not a professional, but a very keen club cricketer nonetheless for Voorburg. He visited the Gray-Nicolls factory back in 1982.
“Tim once brought me a Gray-Nicolls bat he said had been tested by Andrew Strauss” Patrick remembers. “To this day I don’t know if he told the truth but fact is it picked up beautifully and I scored thousands of runs with it. It made me feel confident. Gray-Nicolls are the best bats in the world.”
Both just 21 and born only 38 days apart, cousins Bas and Babette are the future of Netherlands cricket, with a Gray-Nicolls bat firmly in their hands. The upcoming T20 World Cup will see Bas and his team look to cause more major shocks, while Babette will hope to be at the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2022 in New Zealand.
As with many families across the world, for the de Leedes cricket – and more specifically Gray-Nicolls – is in the blood.
Frans de Leede receives a guard of honour