A truly global England

 Watching the England cricket team play is like watching an IPL team play. Six of their players from the T20 World Cup have foreign roots. Here is a list of ‘foreign’ players in the England T20 squad.

  • Kevin Pietersen – Born to an Afrikaan father and English speaking mother in Durban, South Africa
  • Ravi Bopara – Born to Indian Punjabi parents in London
  • Dimitri Mascarenhas – Born to Sri Lankan parents in London
  • Adil Rashid – Born to Pakistanis in Bradford, England
  • Owais Shah – Pakistani born in Karachi
  • Eoin Morgan – Born in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, and even played in the 2007 World Cup for the All Irish team. 

In the 2007 cricket World cup, seven players in addition to coach Duncan Fletcher were either of foreign origin or born outside England. Andrew Strauss who is the current ODI and Test skipper was born in South Africa off Afrikaan heritage (I’m not entirely sure, but his surname is of German origin and hence my conclusion). Monty Panesar is a Sikh of Indian origin while Sajid Mohammad is a second generation Pakistani. Jamie Dalrymple was born in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Since the 70s England has been represented by many an outsider. Most were cricketers from South Africa, which at the time was barred from International cricket, who turned up in England colors. Tony Greig, Basil D’Oliviera, Robin Smith, Allan Lamb, Derek Pringle to name of a few. The 90s and the new millennium saw a lot of other ‘countries’ in the team, especially Asians. Graeme Hick, Philip DeFreitas, Chris Lewis, Nasser Hussain, the Hollioake brothers, Robert Croft, Kabir Ali, Vikram Solanki etc were England regulars. 

Now although this trend does reflect the diversity in the British society, the inclusion of players like Eoin Morgan and Gavin Hamilton of Scotland in the past is not commendable. Both these players are easily the best in their own country. Associate nations like Ireland and Scotland need players like these to prove a challenge to the big boys. Morgan has of course stated his desire to play test cricket but his priority should be for his homeland for whom he has played internationals. ICC should also do something for this. Morgan was playing in green not more than a year back. It is not ethical for England to choose such players. Like in other sports, ICC should bring laws to prevent players from being poached. In fact Hamilton played the 99 world Cup for the Scots, later represented England in a test in which he failed miserably and now he is back playing for his home nation. Why can’t cricket have a rule like in Olympic sports where a player has to wait for 3 years or so before he can switch national sides?

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