So what do a Ex-Irish International player & South-African Under-19 player have in common. They represent England Now and recently won a match against Bangladesh.
ECB regulations state that to play for England, a player must be a British or Irish citizen, and have either been born in England or Wales, or have lived in England or Wales for the last four years. This has led to players of many nationalities becoming eligible to play for England. So accordingly, Eoin Morgan fits the bill being an Irish. Players like Craig Kiewetter or Jonathan Trott, being South-Africans, are also eligible as they own British Passports.
What most people don't realise is that English Cricket has always allowed players of other countries to represent them. In fact, there were six captains from other nationalities , two from Scotland Mike and Scott Denness and four from South Africa - Tony Greig, Allan Lamb, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen. Certain players had the British Passport as they were descendants of English or a Scottish family. While others took the longer route to play for England. Graeme Hick, Zimbabwean born cricketer , had to wait for seven years to get his England Cap.
Players like Hick, Andrew Caddick developed their careers in English county while the new generation players like Trott and Kieswetter have taken the shorter route. Both had represented SouthAfrica in either U-19 or A team. They moved from SouthAfrica because they were viewed as talents but not good enough to represent SouthAfrica.
In his recent interview, Former England Captain Michael Vaughan has said "It's a very tricky one. Someone like Kevin Pietersen made the decision very early to come over to England and he learnt a lot of his cricket here, but I do have a problem with the likes of Jonathan Trott and Craig Kieswetter, who have played for the South African Under-19s. Now that is where I have a problem, that we have almost got a 'ship-in' system of looking at talent, and a lot of them come over for the money.".
He goes on to say "It's very, very difficult to stop them. I would like to see, in an ideal world, 11 complete Englishmen in the team but I don't think that's ever going to be the case.".
For the answer, One has to simply look at the wicketkeepers of English team over the last 5-6 years. The last three wicketkeepers Kieswetter, Mathew Prior (born in South Africa) and Geraint Jones (born in PNG and had early career in Australia) of England were born in other countries.
You can look at this in two perceptions. One as an outsider, who sees England as 'A land of opportunities, where skills are recognised and a place where there are no discrimination's in selection policies' . Other from an insider, who thinks,'Cricket was born in England, yet it has not won a single championship in its 133 year History. May be the answer lies outside England'.
If Vaughan's dream has to become reality, whats needed at this point of time, is a Championship victory either in T20s or 2011 world cup. Its a tall order, but if accomplished, could bring back the interest in sports and help see some new talents. On the flip side, people could say that the victory vindicates ECB's belief in outside talents.
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