In this day and age, playing for multiple teams is common. With the advent of so many T20 leagues, players tend to play for different teams in different leagues. In fact, their teams change every year as well. Hence, apart from the national team and their state (or rather domestic) teams, players represent multiple teams.
However, there are players who have played for teams one may not even have heard of. Players have tried to do that for money, in order to get more recognition, in their bid to regain their spot in the national side and many other reasons.
Hence, here we look at five such cricketers who have played for unusual teams during their respective careers.
Rahul Dravid – Scotland (Scottish Saltires)
For a decade and a half, Rahul Dravid was India’s Wall at No. 3. While that was in Test cricket, he donned multiple roles in the ODI team. He is one of the few players who have scored more than 10,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. Majority of these runs have come for India and some have for Asia XI and World XI as well.
However, there is another team that Dravid has represented and not a lot of people know about it. The cricketer from Karnataka has played for Scotland in 2003. He played 11 games over a period of three months. He scored 600 runs at an average of 66.67 which included three hundreds as well.
Gwynne Jones, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Cricket Union wanted Sachin Tendulkar but it was the then India coach John Wright who persuaded to go for Dravid and not Tendulkar. Between 2002 and 2006, Dravid was at his peak and hence, Scotland got the services of him at the right time. However, despite Dravid’s individual brilliance, his team could win just one game out of 12.
Michael Clarke – Kowloon Cantons
For more than a decade, Michael Clarke was Australia’s rock in the middle order. He was a reliable figure in the middle in both Tests and ODIs. He aggregated more than 17,000 international runs in a career that spanned for more than 11 years.
Clarke retired in 2015 after Australia lost the Ashes in England. He didn’t play any form of cricket after that, except for a couple of games. The 2015 World Cup-winning captain turned out to play for Kowloon Cantons in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz in May 2016. He was one of the two overseas recruits with the other one being Nepal star leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who was 16 years old back then.
The former Aussie skipper played two games and could score 21 runs. In the first game, he was out for 6 while in the second game, he remained 15 not out before rain washed out the game. After his stint, he took to social media to thank Hong Kong cricket and Kowloon Cantons for giving him the opportunity to play the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
Ramesh Powar – Sefton Park
Longish hair, a stuttering run-up and a nice, loopy flighted off-spinner was trademark Ramesh Powar. The Mumbai-born off-spinner was in and around the Indian white-ball set-up for a few years. In fact, he played 31 ODIs between 2004 and 2007, picking up 34 wickets. He also played a couple of Test matches against Bangladesh.
In the middle of all this, there was another team Powar represented. It was an England club called Sefton Park. It is one of the founding members of The Liverpool and District Cricket tournament. Powar flew in as a replacement for Vinayak Mane who suffered a hip injury and hence, was ruled out. Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor was Powar’s teammate as well.
The off-spinner played 10 games in the tournament. He amassed 325 runs at an average of 32.5. He did well with the ball too. Powar picked up 25 wickets in the tournament at an average of around 21. While Powar had a wonderful tournament, it was one of the most unusual teams a cricketer has ever played for.
Kevin Pietersen – Piers Morgan XI
There is no doubt that Kevin Pietersen was a superstar in world cricket. He was one of the first picks for T20 leagues around the world. For whichever team he played, he was a match-winner. He may have been unceremoniously removed from the England side but Pietersen was England’s box-office player.
The South African-born has played 273 international games for England. In that, he has amassed more than 13,000 runs which includes 32 hundreds across formats. He has also played for multiple T20 teams around the world. However, none of them would be as unusual as Piers Morgan XI.
Piers Morgan XI team plays Newick County XI every year. Pietersen was a consistent member of the former. In fact, he has teamed up with former England captain Michael Vaughan, Chris Gayle, Andrew Flintoff among others while playing for Piers Morgan XI.
Mohammad Asif – Christianiana Cricket Club
Post the spot-fixing controversy in 2010, Mohammad Asif seems to have disappeared. While Mohammad Amir who was involved in the same scandal has returned to the national side and has become an integral part, Asif hasn’t quite managed to do the same. However, the Pakistani fast bowler had a wonderful career up till then.
In 23 Test matches, he picked up 106 wickets and had an excellent strike-rate of 48.7. However, after he got banned, the venom disappeared and hence, he never made a comeback. In fact, in 2016, he did try his level best. He played cricket everywhere he could in order to get back into rhythm and make a return to the national team.
Asif represented Christiania Cricket Club which is a club in Norway. His aim was to improve his fitness and remain fit in his bid for a national recall. However, that didn’t happen and Asif’s last international game remains to be the forgettable and tainted one against England at Lord’s in 2010.
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