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England’s foreign-born Test cricketers

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    England's Kevin Pietersen sweeps Australia's Nathan Hauritz during the first day of the first test in Cardiff, Wales, Wednesday July 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)

    England's Kevin Pietersen sweeps Australia's Nathan Hauritz during the first day of the first test in Cardiff, Wales, Wednesday July 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)

    To see Adil Rashid, Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah represent England in the first one-day international (ODI) against Australia at The Oval last Friday is the inspiration behind this post.

    All three have Indo – Pak origins although only Shah (6 Tests and 61 ODIs for England) was born in Karachi, Pakistan.

    Like Test players Mark Ramprakash, ‘Monty’ Panesar, Sajid Mahmood and Ali Kabir, Bopara (10 Tests, 42 ODIs) and Rashid (two ODIs) were born in England.

    The current Ashes series had a strong South African connection. As many as four in the England Test team — Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Price and the debut centurion Ian Trott — were born in South Africa.

    In all, 61 overseas-born players from 15 countries – including unlikely places like Peru, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Papua New Guinea – have played Test cricket for England.

    Here is a list of cricketers born outside UK and Ireland who have represented England at Test level. (Those born in Scotland, Wales and Ireland are not included in this list, for example Wales-born reverse-swing quickie Simon Jones).

    Sixteen were born in India, 11 in West Indies, 10 in South Africa and nine in Australia.

    AUSTRALIA: Billy Murdoch, John Ferris, Sammy Woods, Albert Trott, ‘Gubby’ Allen, Adam Hollioake, Ben Hollioake, Jason Gallian, Tim Ambrose.

    SOUTH AFRICA: Basil D’Oliviera, Tony Greig, Ian Greig, Allan Lamb, Chris Smith, Robin Smith, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ian Trott.

    WEST INDIES: Lord Harris, Pelham Warner, Roland Butcher, Norman Cowans, Wilf Slack, Gladstone Small, Phillip DeFreitas, Devon Malcolm, Chris Lewis, Neil Williams, Joseph Benjamin.

    NEW ZEALAND: Andy Caddick.

    INDIA: K.S. Ranjitsinhji (‘Ranji’), Edward Wynyard, Richard Young, Neville Tufnell, Douglas Jardine, K.S. Duleepsinhji (‘Duleep’), Nawab of Pataudi, Sr., Errol Holmes, Norman Mitchell-Innes, George Emmett, Colin Cowdrey, John Jameson, Bob Woolmer, Robin Jackman, Nasser Hussain, Minal Patel.

    PAKISTAN: Usman Afzaal, Owais Shah.

    ZIMBABWE (formerly Rhodesia): Graeme Hick, Paul Parker.

    KENYA: Derek Pringle.

    ZAMBIA: Phil Edmonds, Neil Radford.

    GERMANY: Donald Carr, Paul Terry.

    ITALY: Ted Dexter.

    PERU: Freddie Brown.

    HONG KONG: Dermot Reeve.

    PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Geraint Jones.

    DENMARK: Amjad Khan.

    Murdoch, Ferris, Woods and Albert Trott had earlier played for Australia. Nawab of Pataudi Sr. Later played for India .

    Incredibly, seven overseas-born cricketers from five countries represented England in the first Test against New Zealand at Christchurch in January 1992. They were Hick (born in Zimbabwe), Lamb and Robin Smith (South Africa), Pringle (Kenya), Lewis and DeFreitas (West Indies) and debutant Reeve (Hong Kong). Only four were “home grown” Englishmen — skipper Graham Gooch, Alec Stewart, R.C. (Jack) Russell and Phil Tufnell.

    England triumphed by an innings, and retaining the same team for the next Test in Auckland, won by 168 runs. Is there a message here somewhere?

    When will Australia include an Asian in their Test line-up? Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja may become the first Muslim to represent Australia in cricket. In 11 first-class matches for NSW the 22-year-old has hit 651 runs at 40.68 with a highest score of 172 not out.

    And India-born all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar, 30, has played seven Tests for Australian women, averaging 33.83 with the bat (top-score an unbeaten 120) and 20.23 when bowling.

    Kersi Meher-Homji
    Kersi Meher-Homji

    Kersi is an author of 13 cricket books including The Waugh Twins, Cricket's Great All-rounders,Six Appeal and Nervous Nineties. He writes regularly for Inside Cricket and other publications. He has recently finished his new book on Cricket's Conflicts and Controversies, with a foreword by Greg Chappell.

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    The Crowd Says (71)

    • September 7th 2009 @ 4:08am
      Matt said | September 7th 2009 @ 4:08am | ! Report

      My answer to your question would be as soon as there is a muslim player who is the best in their position in Australia. Comparing the ethnic composition of the Australian team with that of England and SA is difficult. The UK has experienced large scal migration from cricket playing cultures on a much larger scale than we have. There are literally millions of migrants from Pakistan or India (for example) who have continued to play the game. The same is true of the hundreds of thousands of South Africans who have fled SA in recent years. We don’t yet have such a large cricket playing migrant pool or anything like it. However, I hear this might be changing.

    • Roar Guru

      September 7th 2009 @ 6:17am
      Freud of Football said | September 7th 2009 @ 6:17am | ! Report

      Very interesting article. I’ve given a few Pommie friends some stick for KP and Panesar, telling them they get other countries rejects but I didn’t realise there was quite so many players that had represented England born overseas.

      There is one thing that would aid in explaining why, apart from Matt’s rather correct analysis and that is England have had 645 Test Cricketers compared to Australia’s 411. English cricket sides are rarely as stable as Australian sides who prefer to give players a chance once they have reached the highest level to prove themselves.

      I think I’ll stick to my view that KP shouldn’t play for England, just because he’s unhappy at the racial quota’s in SAF and he found a loophole doesn’t mean he shouldn’t turn out for just anyone. He is clearly South African, he spent literally his entire childhood there and would have played for them given the chance.

      • September 7th 2009 @ 6:46pm
        dasilva said | September 7th 2009 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

        Panesar is born in England

        Under ICC rule he isn’t even allow to represent India at all (they don’t have parent or grand parent rule that FIFA has which I like)

        So if you do give Englishman some stick about foreign players representing England. You should omit Panesar from that list.

      • September 7th 2009 @ 7:06pm
        dasilva said | September 7th 2009 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

        People migrate out of their country for many different reasons. Some of them economics, some for different lifestyles, some as refugees, some for job, some due to disgruntlement with the home country.

        I don’t think we can start distinguishing what reason is a “real” or “legitimate” reason to migrate. You migrate to another country, you live there for 5 years (ICC rules state that you have to live in the country for 5 years as well as spending 50% + 1 days of the years living in that country before you can change nationality). then you have every right to call yourself that nationality. The fact is, you wouldn’t call yourself the nationality of the place you migrate if you didn’t have some degree of affinity with that country

        KP left South Africa because he was unhappy with racial quotas. However perhaps he chose to stay in England and represent England because after he migrated there, he actually like the country.

        • September 10th 2009 @ 11:57pm
          deeron said | September 10th 2009 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

          KP has an English mother and has consequently always been a British citizen. He was eligible to play cricket for England from the day he was born. Same goes for Jonathan Trott – who has an English father. They could’ve chosen to play for either South Africa or England and I’m cool with that. Also, Prior and Strauss (whilst both born in SA to mixed-nationality parents) moved to England when they were children – in what way are they “rejects” for having moved to England with their mum and dad before their teens? I wouldn’t ever describe Andrew Symonds as an English reject, would you?

          By the way, KP left SA as much for the fact that he was considered an unexceptional spin bowler (not good enough for a pro contract) as the quota system. He didn’t develop into a batsman until he played lower league and County Cricket in England…

          • September 14th 2009 @ 5:55pm
            Dave said | September 14th 2009 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

            Citizenship is not a criteria for playing for another country. So he was not eligible to play for England from the day he was born. Citizenship allowed him to play county cricket which then allowed him to fill the criteria of playing in England for 4 years. He had to wait 4 years before he could play for England.


    • September 7th 2009 @ 9:41am
      sheek said | September 7th 2009 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      I vaguely remember back around the bi-centenary year (1988), ‘The Australian’ newspaper postulated about an Australian cricket XI 20 years hence (now!) & what it might look like. I think they borrowed directly from the Socceroos XI of the day. From memory, there were only 2-3 Anglo-Saxon names, the rest being Indo-Paki & Eastern European.

      Of course, nothing of the sort has occurred, which doesn’t mean it won’t! We’re already witnessing rugby union & rugby league teams filling with islander names.

      I guess another question begs – what constitutes an Englishman, or an Australian, for that matter? The answer becomes increasingly blurred.

      I’ve always argued Australia began, rightly or wrongly, as a predominately Western European race & culture, English speaking, christian religion society. Minorities are welcome as long as they integrate into the mainstream, & not vice-versa.

      My two God-children are half-chinese, but everything about them – accent, thought patterns, etc – is Australian. My wife is 2nd generation christian Lebanese, but apart from her appearance, is Australian in every word & mode of behaviour.

      Myself, I was born in PNG to Aussie parents, but try telling me I’m anything other than an Aussie. I can’t help where I was born!

      There was an English comedian in the early 70s (they had heaps of them then) Dick Emery, who played this character, an Indian gentleman sitting on a park bench, who was more English than the English in his speech & mannerisms.

      But I guess I’m getting off topic!!!!!

      Len Pascoe (Durtanovich) may have had Eastern European roots, but was as Aussie as they come in his demeanour.

      • September 7th 2009 @ 7:58pm
        dasilva said | September 7th 2009 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

        I agree that Australia is an English speaking country

        The rest I have some reservations

        I like to think that Australia is a liberal country that values freedom and the individuals (we are a democracy). Therefore allows diversity of thoughts, behaviour and opinions (within moral limits of course).

        So I tend to think that no matter how you behave, what you think, what you believe. If you are born in Australia or lived in Australia for majority or large periods of your life. You are Australian irrespective of your cultural, racial or religious backgrounds. This may seem controversial, but you are also are not the country of your parents birth unless you actually live in that country.

        I tend to not put many personal characteristics in what it means to be Australian.

    • September 7th 2009 @ 10:10am
      sledgeross said | September 7th 2009 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      Yeah sheek, but Lenny was from that notorious bastian of white australia, bankstown 😉

    • September 7th 2009 @ 10:18am
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | September 7th 2009 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      I enjoy your comments, Sheek. They are often deeper than the articles you comment on.

      I am born in India and have lived in Australia since 1970. But still have not lost my accent! It is difficult to take sides when Australia plays India in cricket, hockey or tennis because I belong to both the countries.

      Yes, the Indian ‘pakka’ sahibs are more English than the English!

      • September 7th 2009 @ 10:37am
        sheek said | September 7th 2009 @ 10:37am | ! Report


        Thank you. There is an Australian country singer Graham Connors, I think his name is. His father-in-law (I think) was Italian, & Connors wrote a song about his father-in-law saying home is not where you’re born, but where you want to die.

        I guess that really sums it up. We have no control over where we are born. But where you want to die determines what nationality you really are!

    • September 7th 2009 @ 10:52am
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | September 7th 2009 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      Interesting, Sheek.

      Now I’ll have to research as to where England’s Test cricketers passed away!

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