It’s a dream of any young budding cricketer to play for his country. Over the years thousands and thousands have gone on to represent their country and fulfil their dreams. In a country like India or even England or Australia, there is an abundance of talent and not all get an opportunity to don the jersey for their respective countries.
It is difficult for any cricketer to play for a country apart from his home nation, but they had to take these tough decisions in order to prolong their international careers. There are a few cricketers who have taken this decision due to a lack of opportunity in their country while a few have shifted for various other reasons.
Here we look at notable players to have represented 2 countries in international cricket:
1. Eoin Morgan (Ireland and England)
Perhaps the first name that pops up in most people’s mind is that of the current England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan. He represented Ireland at U17 and U19 levels and captained Ireland at the 2004 U19 World Cup as well. He was also a part of the Irish team that beat Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup.
Morgan started playing county cricket in England and because of his big-hitting abilities was selected for England’s 30-man probable team for the 2010 World T20. He had to quit playing for Ireland and what a move it has turned out to be for Morgan himself and English Cricket! He is the man who led the complete transformation of England limited overs side post the 2015 World Cup and now is one of the most successful England limited overs skipper ever.
England also qualified for the World Cup final after 9969 days and will face New Zealand at the Home of Cricket on July 14 hoping to lift the title for the first time.
2. Jofra Archer (West Indies and England)
The latest player to have represented 2 countries in cricket is the young sensation, Barbados born Jofra Archer. Archer was one of the most promising youngsters in the West Indies U19 set up, a level at which he represented WI. However, WICB is a soap opera in itself, where every day it’s a different story. So, after a serious back injury when Archer returned to peak fitness, the board had completely forgotten about him.
Archer started playing Big Bash League (BBL) for Hobart Hurricanes and caught the eye of almost everyone with his raw pace and athleticism. West Indies’ loss was England’s gain as Archer shifted his base to play the county, and the ECB welcomed him with open arms. Not selecting Jofra Archer is perhaps the most regrettable decisions the WICB has made for a long time.
And the fast bowler is now shining for England in the World Cup and has played an important role for his team in reaching the final.
3. Dirk Nannes (Netherlands and Australia)
People in India will remember Dirk Nannes for his unique run-up and his fiery moustache while playing in the IPL. Nannes is one of the only few cricketers to have played for Netherlands and Australia. He is the fastest bowler to have ever represented the Netherlands in international Cricket.
The left-arm fast bowler had raw pace and he made headlines when the Delhi Daredevils benched Glenn McGrath for Dirk Nannes. He was a T20 specialist and played a pivotal role to help Australia reach the finals of the 2010 World T20, a tournament where he had blown away India’s top order in a league game.
4. Kepler Wessels (Australia and South Africa)
Kepler Wessels was known as the ‘man who didn’t belong’ because he was one of the first Afrikaans people to choose Cricket over Rugby. Wessels tried his hands at many sports like Swimming only to discover he had nephritis after a near-fatal accident. He also played Tennis at U19 level but finally shifted his focus solely to Cricket.
Because of the apartheid period, Wessels had to play for Australia and made his debut in the 1982 Ashes series down under. As soon as ICC removed the ban and South Africa was allowed to play Test matches, Wessels was back to lead them in the 1992 World Cup where he took them to the semi-finals, only to lose to England because of a horrible Duckworth Lewis Stern method (DLS). He announced his retirement in 1994 and took up commentary.
5. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (India and England)
Arguably one of India’s greatest ever captains and fondly remembered as Tiger Pataudi. Pataudi played for Sussex and also played for Oxford while studying there. But a fatal car accident meant he severely damaged his right eye to see a double image and it was feared that it would end his cricketing career.
But there is a reason why he was called as Tiger Pataudi and with one of his eye damaged he still went on to play for India and captained them to 9 Test victories. He was also the first captain to attack with 4 spinners. His finest innings was 75 he scored against Australia in Melbourne in 1967-68 with one eye and standing on one leg. Tiger Pataudi passed away in 2011.
6. Luke Ronchi (Australia and New Zealand)
Australia and New Zealand’s trans-Tasman rivalry in one to behold and Luke Ronchi is the only player to have played on both sides of this amazing rivalry. Ronchi was born in New Zealand and brought up in Australia. After a promising start to his Australia career, his form dipped and was dropped from the national as well as his state team.
He then went back to his birth country and was eligible to play for New Zealand in 2013. He was involved in a record-breaking 6th wicket stand of 267 with Grant Elliott when they tore apart the Sri Lankan bowling unit. He was a part of New Zealand’s 2015 World Cup campaign when they played the final and is currently the part of the coaching staff for the BlackCaps.
7. Imran Tahir (Pakistan and South Africa)
The originator of one of the most iconic celebrations in the game, Imran Tahir perhaps could beat Usain Bolt’s timing with his lap after picking up a wicket. Tahir represented Pakistan at U19 level and was also a part of Pakistan A side. Since Pakistan was blessed with some quality spinners, Tahir couldn’t make it to the senior level.
Being a wise man, he decided to apply his craft somewhere else and knowing that South Africa always lack quality spinners, he moved to the country and made his ODI debut at the 2011 World Cup. Since then he’s been their premier spinner and was also one of the only bowlers to be ranked no 1 in ODI and T20I simultaneously.
He is South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in World Cups and one of the most loved cricketers in the world. Tahir retired from ODI cricket after the Proteas’ early exit from 2019 World Cup and is expected to continue playing the shortest format of the game.
~Written by Parth Parekh
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