Cricketers who have becomes stars outside their countries of birth

Imran Tahir. Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images.

For many years now, more and more cricketers have established themselves as star performers on the international stage outside their country of birth.

A team of players who were born in one country but, for a variety of reasons, turned out for their adopted country, looks like the who’s who of world cricket.

1 Andrew Strauss (c)

England cricket chief Andrew Strauss laid down the law to players banning any player from being out after midnight for the rest of the Ashes tour

Andrew Strauss, now the England Director of Cricket, is one of the most successful England opening batsmen and captains.

Strauss was born in Johannesburg in 1977 and turned out for England for the first time in November 2003. He later became England captain and led the team to two Ashes wins.

He played 100 Tests, in which he scored 7 037 runs at 40.91. He led in exactly half of them. He also made merry in one-day internationals, where he scored 4,205 runs in 127 games.

2 Bob Woolmer
Perhaps an even better coach than he was a cricketer, Bob Woolmer was born in the northern Indian city of Kanpur in 1948 before shifting to England and making his international debut in 1972 in an ODI against Australia at Old Trafford.

He played 19 Tests and six ODIs, scoring 1,080 runs overall, and was also a decent medium-pacer who picked up 420 first-class wickets.

Woolmer coached two major Test nations – South Africa and Pakistan – after his retirement in 1984.

3 Andy Flower

FP/File / Glyn Kirk
England’s former coach Andy Flower is serving as Peshawar team coach in the Pakistan Super League (PSL)

Arguably Zimbabwe’s greatest batsman, Andy Flower was the mainstay of the team through the 1990s and early 2000s.

Born in Cape Town in South Africa in 1968, Flower scored 4,794 runs in 63 Tests and 6,786 runs in 213 ODIs in an 11-year-long international career. Behind the stumps, he made 160 dismissals in Tests and 173 in ODIs.

After a successful career as a player, Flower coached England to great success, and later performed other duties with the England and Wales Cricket Board, including as the technical director of elite coaching.

Flower was Zimbabwe’s mainstay through the 1990s and early 2000s.

4 Kevin Pietersen

Never afraid to be provocative: Kevin Pietersen. Photo: Getty Images.

Kevin Pietersen is another South Africa-born cricketer who represented England at the international stage. Pietersen made the switch after playing cricket for his country of origin at domestic level.

He broke through to the England ODI side in 2004, the Test side a year later and went on to become one of the most important batsmen of the 2000s, playing match-winning knocks in all three formats of the game.

In 104 Tests, he tallied 8,181 runs with 23 centuries, and hit nine centuries in a 136-match ODI career in which he scored 4,440 runs.

Prior to being dropped from the England team for good in 2014 when just 33, Pietersen had scored 13,797 international runs and was the Player of the Tournament when England won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010.

5 Basil D’Oliveira

Basil D’Oliviera

Perhaps the most poignant of the names is Basil D’Oliveira, who rose to fame during South Africa’s apartheid era.

One of the great names in the game, D’Oliveira got the opportunity he needed when John Arlott, the cricket writer and broadcaster, helped him move from his home in South Africa’s Cape province to England.

A batting all-rounder, he went on to represent England in 44 Tests, scoring 2,484 runs at 40.06, including five centuries. He also picked up 47 wickets.

He played first-class cricket from 1964 to 1980, amassing 19,490 runs, chiefly for Worcestershire, while also bagging 551 wickets.

D’Oliveira represented England in 44 Tests, scoring 2 484 runs at 40.06.

6 Andrew Symonds

Andrew Symonds, the hard-hitting Australian all-rounder, was born in Birmingham and moved to Australia at a young age with his English parents.

Symonds made his first-class debut against his country of origin for Queensland during the 1994/95 season and hit 108 not out straight away to make a big splash.

He went on to become a stalwart of the Australian side in the 2000s after making his ODI debut in 1998. His aggressive approach made him one of the most exciting cricketers of his time.

For Australia, he appeared in 26 Tests, 198 ODIs and 14 T20Is, and made a total of 6,887 international runs and picked up 165 wickets. He was also part of the Australian teams that won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003 and 2007.

7 Sikandar Raza

Zimbabwe off-spinner Sikandar Raza celebrates after he dismissed Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Mendis during the fifth one-day international in Hambantota, on July 10, 2017

Sikandar Raza, one of the stars of the current Zimbabwe side, was born in Sialkot in Pakistan in 1986 and moved to his new home in 2001 with his family.

He started playing cricket at the domestic level and caught the selectors’ eye with his batting brilliance. He was drafted into Zimbabwe’s national side in 2013, when he debuted in all three formats.

Since then, Raza has featured in 10 Tests and 85 ODIs, along with 28 T20Is. He provides his side with many options – a reliable middle-order batsman, an off-spinner who can pick up regular wickets and an outstanding fielder.

8 Imad Wasim

AFP / Michael Bradley
Pakistan’s Imad Wasim (right) and Shahid Afridi celebrate the wicket of New Zealand’s Martin Guptill in the first Twenty20 at Eden Park in Auckland on January 15, 2016

Imad Wasim was the first Welsh-born cricketer to represent Pakistan. Wasim, now 29, was born in Swansea in 1988, and made his international debut as a left-arm spinner and reliable lower-order batsman in 2015 after starting out in first-class cricket in 2007.

Before making a career in cricket, Wasim was studying medicine. He changed his mind after getting an offer to represent Pakistan in Under-19s.

He eventually made his T20I and ODI debuts in 2015. He was also a part of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, where he made a brisk 25 off 21 balls in the final win over India.

9 Chris Jordan

Picture: AFP

Another to switch countries was Chris Jordan, a limited-overs specialist, who is one of the premier death-over bowlers in world cricket.

He was born in Barbados in 1988, and has over the years built a reputation as a paceman who bowls quickly and accurately.

He has also featured in eight Tests, the last of which in 2015, but has become more of a T20 and 50-over contender in recent years.

Much in demand from teams in T20 leagues around the world, Jordan has played in Australia, India and Pakistan, while also turning out in 31 ODIs and 30 T20Is for England.

10 Devon Malcolm

Devon Malcolm was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963, and was one of the fastest bowlers of his time. He put on a great show against the Windies when England went across in 1989/90.

Prone to being wayward and not gifted with great control, Malcolm nevertheless played 40 Tests and 10 ODIs for England between 1989 and 1997, picking up 144 wickets overall.

His career-best performance in Test cricket came at The Oval against South Africa, when he returned 9/57 in the second innings to give England an eight-wicket win.

He was one of the fastest bowlers in the world in the early 1990s.

11 Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

Finally, Imran Tahir is South Africa’s first-choice spinner in limited-overs cricket but was born in Lahore in Pakistan in 1979.

He began his cricket career in Pakistan and played the 1998 ICC Under-19 World Cup for the country of his birth, but later moved to South Africa to be with the woman who later became his wife.

It took Tahir time to establish himself in the South African set-up, but he has been one of their stars since, especially in limited-overs cricket.  – African News Agency (ANA)

today in print