The competition for national team selection is too high in India, as a result, some of the top performers in domestic circuit get ignored at times. This results in few players flying to other countries to have a chance of playing at the highest level. But it has not been possible for the players born in other countries to represent India.
However, there are a few players from the 20th century who were born outside India and also neighbourhood countries when they were part of India. In this article, we look at a total of 15 Indian players whose birthplace is not part of India at the moment.
Here are the Indian Test cricketers who born in the cities which are not part of India anymore:
6. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
Only one cricketer born in Brazil has featured in Test cricket till date – Ashok Gandotra. The former Indian player was born in November 1948 in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. He made his Ranji Trophy debut representing Delhi at the start of 1966 when he was only 17. Ashok got a chance to make his India debut during the 1969/70 home season where he featured in two Tests – One against New Zealand and another against Australia.
Gandotra aggregated only 54 runs across the four innings he batted in those two Tests at an average of 13.5. Ashok’s poor performance got him out of the team and his underwhelming performances with the bat in domestic circuit didn’t give him another chance to crack Test cricket.
He moved to Bengal for three seasons before returning back to Delhi for the 1974/75 season. It turned out to be his last season of professional cricket despite him being only 26.
5. Kabul – Afghanistan
Afghanistan made their Test debut in 2018 when they faced India during a one-off Test in Bangalore. However, the first-ever Test cricketer born in Afghanistan made his debut in Test cricket back in 1960 itself while playing for India. It was Salim Durani who was born in Afghanistan’s Kabul in December 1934. The left-hander made his Test debut at the start of 1960 against Australia at Brabourne Stadium.
Durani’s farewell Test was also played at the same venue in 1973 against England. He featured in a total of 29 Test matches for India where he scored 1202 runs with help of eight 50+ scores including a hundred. Durani also bagged 75 wickets with his left-arm spin at an average of 35.42. Salim amassed 199 runs and claimed 23 wickets during India’s home Test series win in 1961/62 against England which was only his 2nd series.
Salim Durani’s professional career began in 1953/54 season for Saurashtra and moved to Gujarat in the following season itself. Durani spent two seasons with Gujarat before joining Rajasthan. He was active with the Rajasthan team for 22 domestic seasons until the end of his professional career in 1976/77. Durani aggregated 8545 runs and bagged 484 scalps in his 170-match FC career.
4. Princes Town – Trinidad and Tobago
Robin Singh remains the most capped player in International cricket for India who was born outside India. The all-rounder featured in 136 ODI matches but his debut Test in 1999 turned out to be his last as well. He played against Zimbabwe in the 1998 Harare Test which India lost by 61 runs. He scored 27 runs across two innings and bowled 10 overs in the game without taking a wicket.
Robin Singh was born in the Princes Town which is a city in Trinidad and Tobago. He made his professional debut for his home team before moving to India. He featured in the Ranji Trophy for the first time in the 1985/86 season representing the Tamil Nadu team. He eventually made his International debut for India through an ODI in 1989 against West Indies.
The match was played in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad where he was born. Robin Singh’s 136 ODI appearances spanned across 12 years in which he scored 2336 runs and picked 69 wickets as well. He played first-class and List A cricket until 2001/02 season across which he amassed over 11000 runs and bagged 300+ wickets. He went on to represent PCA Master’s XI later in the 2005 International 20:20 Club Championship.
3. Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Lall Singh stands as the first player to represent India in Test cricket having born in an associate nation. He is also the first Test cricketer of an Asian team who was born in a non-Test playing country. Lall Singh was born in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur in December 1909. Till date, Lall is the only player to have appeared in a Test match having born in Malaysia.
Lall Singh appeared in India’s inaugural Test match against England in 1932 at the Lord’s. He recorded scores of 15 and 29 runs respectively in what turned out to be his only Test appearance. The right-handed batsman featured in a total of 32 matches in his first-class career which was spread between 1931/32 and 1935/36 seasons.
Lall Singh represented Southern Punjab in the Ranji Trophy for two games and also featured in FC matches for various teams. He scored 1123 runs at an average of 24.95 with a best of 107* which was his only century in FC cricket. Lall also scored five fifties during his 32-match first-class career. He claimed 23 wickets and picked up a wicket as well.
2. Comilla – Bangladesh
Khokhan Sen, well known as Probir Kumar Sen represented India in Test cricket between 1948 and 1952. Probir Sen played mostly as a specialist wicketkeeper as he scored only 165 runs in the 14 Tests at a lowly average of 165. Probir was only 21 years old when he made his Test debut as he was born in Comilla in May 1926. Comilla comes under Chattorgram Division which is currently part of Bangladesh.
By the time Probir made their Test debut, India achieved Independence and Comilla became part of East Pakistan which became Bangladesh in 1971. He made his first-class debut representing Bengal during the 1943/44 season when he was a teenager. Probir played as many as 82 first-class matches until his last active season as a professional cricketer – 1957/58.
He amassed 2580 runs during his 15-year first-class career at an average of 23.24 with help of three hundreds. Probir affected 108 dismissals in 70 FC games as a wicketkeeper – 97 catches and 35 stumpings. There are unconfirmed reports of Pankaj Roy being born in Dhaka which as well is a part of Bangladesh right now. However, popular cricket databases have reported his birth in Calcutta (now Kolkata).
1. Karachi and Lahore – Pakistan
As many as ten players born in Pakistan’s Karachi and Lahore represented India in Test cricket. All those ten cricketers were born when both the cities were part of combined India – Before the Independence from British rule in 1947. The Indian Test cricketers born in Karachi are Naoomal Jaoomal, Jenni Irani, Gogumal Kishenchand, Gulabrai Ramchand and Pananmal Punjabi.
Kishenchand and Punjabi featured in five Test matches apiece for India while Kishenchand and Irani played in five and two Tests respectively. Gulabrai Ramchand is easily the most experienced Indian Test cricketer from Karachi as he featured in 33 Test matches. Ramchand scored 1180 runs and claimed 41 wickets across the 33 Tests. He also led India in a total of five Test matches which included a victory.
Dilawar Hussain, Gul Mohammad, Abdul Kardar, Man Sood and Amir Elahi are the five cricketers who were born in Lahore. Gul Mohammad, Kardar and Elahi ended up playing for Pakistan after the Independence. Kardar and Mohammad played eight and three Tests apiece while Elahi featured in only one Test for India. Man Sood also played just one Test in his career while Dilawar Hussain scored 254 runs at a solid average of 42.33 across three Tests.
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