5 current international cricketers who broke the global barrier

Satyam Jha

Jofra Archer would be etching to realize his dream to represent England.

We have all heard phrases relating cricket to the gentleman's game and its relevance in that context. However, apart from being a gentleman's sport, cricket (or for that matter any sport) is one of the most diverse games globally, breaking national and international barriers. The recent glimmer of hope given by the England and Wales Cricket Board to Barbados born Jofra Archer ably highlighting the fact.

"It may happen or may not happen but I would love to debut in front of my family" was Jofra Archer's tweet on November 29, 2018, upon knowing the Board's rule change regarding the eligibility to play international cricket for England. 

Until now, any player shall have completed a 7 year residency period in England post turning 18 in order to represent the England cricket team. From January 2019, the below rules will be adopted for national selection:

  1. any player who has British citizenship and was either born in England/Wales or has resided in the country for a minimum of 3 years and,
  2. not played for any full member in any capacity for 3 years

With the number of years being dropped to three, Archer who holds a British passport would be hoping to make his debut soon. If Archer manages to find his way through the selection hurdles, the Barbados-born cricketer, along with finding himself in a historic English dressing room, could well enter a unique club - a club of cricketers who played for a country different from the one they were born in.

Here, we take a look at 5 such instances wherein a cricketer donned national colours for a country they weren't born.

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir has been the premier spinner for South Africa

South African cricketer Imran Tahir was born in Lahore, Pakistan on March 28, 1979. Tahir has represented Pakistan at the under-19 level and also been a part of Pakistan A squad. He could not, however, make the ultimate cut to the national squad owing to the quality of spinners Pakistan had at their disposal.

Tahir shifted base to England, playing county cricket in the UK and realising the need of quality spinners in South Africa, began his domestic career in the rainbow nation.

With strong performances in domestic leagues, Tahir was selected for international duties the moment he was eligible. He made his ODI debut in 2011 World Cup, picking four wickets against the West Indies. In 85 ODIs, Tahir has 139 wickets to his name, averaging under 24.

He has also been impressive in T20 internationals, winning the T20I cricketer of the year in Cricket South Africa's annual awards.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes, born in Christchurch, has been the number one all-rounder for England in recent past

Stokes was born in Christchurch, New Zealand on June 4 1991. At 12, his family moved to England and thus began a blossoming cricket career for the all-rounder.

Stokes represented England under-19 side and impressed one and all with both bat and ball. His consistent run with Durham in county cricket meant it wasn't long before he would break into the senior side.

He went on to debut for England in ODIs in August 2011 and scored his maiden Test hundred in 2013-2014 Ashes series. Stokes has been the perfect replacement for Andrew Flintoff in the English side that faced a dearth of all-rounders post the latter's retirement.

Ben Stokes' numbers in international and first-class cricket.

He has impressive statistics in a short span, underlining the quality he brings with his all-round abilities. Many cricketing greats, impressed with his quality as an all-rounder, have opined that he could be a part of most of the international sides either purely as a batsman or a bowler.

Eoin Morgan

Ireland born Morgan is the leading run-scorer for England in

The Dublin-born cricketer, Morgan has a rare distinction of representing both Ireland and England in international cricket. The England limited-overs captain performed well in his initial days for Ireland, representing his country at the U-19 World Cup. He was the highest run scorer for Ireland in 2004 under-19 World Cup and was subsequently named the captain of the Irish side in the 2006 event, in which he was the tournament's second highest scorer.

Morgan then went on to debut for Ireland in August 2006 scoring 99 in that game. He soon scored his maiden hundred for Ireland a year later.

Though his ODI debut for England turned out to be a damp squib, abandoned due to rain, Morgan excelled in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa. The Middlesex batsman has since been a regular in the one-day side for England, captaining the limited overs team since 2014. In 212 one day matches, the innovative middle-order batsman has scored 6557 runs with 11 centuries to his name. He is also the highest run-scorer for England in ODIs, surpassing Ian Bell in 2018.

The resurgence of the England team in shorter formats has been credited to Morgan's approach as captain, making England one of the favourites in any ICC tournaments since 2015.

Usman Khawaja

Usman Khawaja has cemented his spot at the top for Australia

The top-order left-handed batsman, Khawaja was born in Islamabad, Pakistan in December 1986. His family moved to Australia when he was 5. He has played domestic cricket for New South Wales and Queensland and represented Australia in the 2006 under-19 World Cup.

With formidable and consistent performances in domestic tournaments, he was constantly knocking the national selection doors. The moment arrived in 2011 when he debuted in the fifth Ashes Test against England.

An interesting incident Khawaja remembers, happened when Australia were playing Pakistan at Brisbane in 2016 when one of the officials confused him to to be from the visiting team.

Khawaja has not yet impressed the selectors with his performances in the limited overs for Australia, but, has cemented his spot in the Test squad with strong performances for the Kangaroos. In 34Test matches, he has 2452 runs at an average of 44.58 with seven centuries in his kitty.

Jeet Raval

Guarat

The top-order Kiwi batsman was born in Gujarat in September 1988. He has been part of Gujarat under 15 and under 17 squads playing alongside the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and Parthiv Patel. Raval shifted to New Zealand at the age of 16 and started playing domestic cricket for Auckland.

He has represented New Zealand at under-19 levels and after a fine showing in the domestic circuit, received a Test call-up in 2016, scoring a solid 55 and 36* on his debut Test match under trying conditions.

In 13 Test matches for New Zealand, the Kiwi southpaw has 734 runs under his belt at an average close to 35. He is a fine player of seam bowling and would look to stamp his authority at the top for New Zealand.