Hayden Walsh Jr inclusion in the West Indies ODI and T20I set-up is another addition to a long list of players who have made the switch from playing for an Associate nation to a Full Member nation. Born in St. Croix of the US Virgin Islands, Walsh moved to his parents’ native Antigua when he was just a few months old and boasts of dual citizenship of both the United States and Antigua.
Walsh made his debut for the United States of America in a T20I against the UAE in March. Recently, he was featuring for the USA against Canada as a part of the 2020 T20 World Cup qualifiers. But his outstanding display in the recently concluded CPL, where he finished as the leading wicket-taker (22 wickets at 12.68) for the eventual champions, Barbados Tridents, earned him a call-up to the Windies squad for their ODI and T20I series against Afghanistan.
So, on this note, let us have a look at five such examples of the past. But before we do that, it is important to understand ICC’s rules of eligibility for players representing two countries. According to the rules, if a player who has represented a Full Member nation in the past wishes to go back for his native country (Associate nation), then he will have to wait for three years after their last appearance at the senior level. However, no such restriction exists for players who have played for an Associate nation and want to make a shift to a Full Membered country. They can do it instantly.
Here’s the list of 5 players who made the switch from Associate to Full Member nation:
5. Ed Joyce (Ireland to England)
Before Eoin Morgan, it was Ed Joyce who was trailblazing at Middlesex before finally making the transition. Having made his debut for Ireland as an 18-year-old against Scotland in 1997, Joyce was the heartbeat of the Irish team, playing 50 ODIs between 2001 and 2005. Joyce starred in the 2005 ICC World Cup qualifiers; a tournament where he stroked two centuries and as many fifties, helping Ireland to qualify for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.
But, Joyce always had aspirations of playing for a full-membered nation. After completing his English residency qualification, he made his One-day debut for England in Belfast against the country of his birth. After his English International career that saw him play 17 ODIs and 2 T20Is, Joyce announced his retirement to concentrate on Irish cricket.
His first game, ironically, came against England in the 2011 World Cup; a game that will forever be remembered for Kevin O’Brien’s heroics as Ireland chased down the then highest total in World Cup history. Joyce went on to establish himself as the cornerstone of the Irish batting for the next seven years before announcing his retirement at the age of 39.
4. Mark Chapman (Hong Kong to New Zealand)
The left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Mark Chapman has his roots in both Hong Kong and New Zealand. Chapman was born in Hong Kong to a mother who hailed from mainland China and a father who was born in New Zealand. Though Chapman’s schooling was mainly done in Hong Kong, he pursued his higher studies in New Zealand.
He played for the place of his birth- Hong Kong- as a 15-year-old in the 2010 U19 World Cup before making his international debut against the United Arab Emirates in 2015 after having flown 20 hours following exams in Auckland. In a bid to focus on his New Zealand career, Chapman played his last international for Hong Kong against Scotland in the 2016 T20 World Cup in India. Post that, he went on to become a consistent performer for Auckland in the domestic circuit.
He earned his first NZ call-up after scoring heavily- 300+ runs in Super Smash followed by 400+ runs in the Ford Trophy- across the domestic competitions in the 2017-18 season, for the T20I series at home against England.
3. Gavin Hamilton (Scotland to England)
The Scottish all-rounder made his national debut as an 18-year-old against the Irish in a three-day game at Eglinton in the summer of 1993. His moment of reckoning, however, came six years later during the 1999 World Cup, where he emerged as Scotland’s leading run-getter.
His 217 runs at an average of 54.25 were good to catch the attention of the English Cricket Board. After he played his last International for Scotland against the Kiwis in the World Cup, Hamilton was fast-tracked to the English set-up.
Six months later he found himself in whites against South Africans at the Bullring in Johannesburg. And, even though it turned out to be his only Test, he still remains the first associate player who made his International debut for a full-member nation with a Test match.
2. Dirk Nannes (Netherlands to Australia)
Remember that tall lanky fast bowler who turned up for the Delhi Daredevils during the second edition of the Indian Premier League in 2009? Born in Victoria, Dirk Nannes made his debut for his state in February of 2006 but only managed 17 First-Class and 15 List-A games over the course of the next three years.
During that time, Twenty20 cricket had started to set the ball rolling and it was in this format of the game that Nannes carved out a niche for himself in domestic T20 tournaments leading into the 2009 edition of the IPL. The 2009 season saw Nannes emerge as one of the cornerstones of the Delhi Daredevils bowling unit. The left-armer bagged 15 wickets in 13 games at an average of 24.80.
Soon after the IPL, Nannes used his Dutch passport to make his International debut for the Netherlands in the 2009 T20 World Cup in England where he took the new ball in his side’s famous win over the hosts in the tournament opener. Little did we know that his Netherlands career would end in the tournament itself. Nannes played his last game for the Dutch against Pakistan, a few days later on June 09, and three months later, he was called up to make his Australia ODI debut against Scotland.
Ten months later, Nannes was one half of Australia’s pace bowling attack alongside Mitchell Johnson during their 2010 World T20 campaign in the Caribbean. In what was a hugely successful tournament for the Aussies, Nannes played his part brilliantly, bagging 14 wickets at 13.07. In all, Nannes played 1 ODI and 17 T20Is for the Aussies. His last international for Australia was a T20I match against Sri Lanka at the MCG in the summer of 2010.
1. Eoin Morgan (Ireland to England)
Who would have thought when a 16-year-old left-hander was making his debut for Ireland that he’d one day, go on and do what no English captain has never done: Lift the World Cup. Eoin Morgan has forever etched his name into the annals of not only World Cup history as one of the trophy-holding captains but also in the folklore of the English cricket.
Morgan will forever be remembered for bringing in a paradigm shift into the white-ball culture by finally breaking the shackles of the tentative- almost out of sync with the demands of the modern-day- mindset that had long plagued English cricket. Morgan, just like his compatriot Ed Joyce always had aspirations of playing for a full-membered nation.
After scoring heavily in the 2009 World Cup qualifiers in South Africa, one that ensured Ireland’s qualification in the 2011 World Cup. His last game for Ireland came on April 15, 2009, where he racked up 62-ball 76 to help his side notch up a six-wicket win. By then, Morgan had stayed at Middlesex long enough to qualify for England and the southpaw made his debut for the 3 Lions in an ODI against West Indies. Ten years later, he, along with his teammates were basking in World Cup glory at the Mecca of Cricket- Lord’s.
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