This is the age of player auction. Especially in the IPL, if you see one player in one team today, u will find him in another club the next season. However, it is not just clubs. Cricketers have juggled different international cricketing nations during their span of cricket career. While some have done it under compulsion, for division of countries, others have taken it up willingly.
Starting from the West Indies, to the other extent of the earth, there have been a total of 22 players, contributing for two different nations. This was prevalent in the early 19th century, when a lot of players were sandwiched between the two countries of Australia and England. Later, this trend caught up, and other players did the same. Here is a list of 10 cricketers who have played for different international cricketing nations.
1. Billy Midwinter – Played in the first ever international Test match
Let us start with the late 19th century. Billy Midwinter is known as the only cricketer to have played test matches for both Australia and England, against each other. Born in England, he made his debut in 1877 the first ever test match played. He played for Australia, going against his country of birth. Later he returned to England and was part of the English team touring Australia in 1882-3. He played a total of 4 matches for England and double that number for Australia. He is still the only player to have playedfor a country, moved to another and then return to the original team.
2. Sammy Woods- Played cricket, rugby and hockey
The next one is an interesting read. He is the Sammy of all trades, master of all. He played for England and Australia in test cricket, represented England in the Rugby Union and also engaged in soccer and hockey at the county level. Sammy Woods made his test debut in the Australian team touring England in 1888. He managed to find a spot in the team here by virtue of the touring team being a weak side filled with injuries. Not too long after that, he played against the Aussies. In 1896, he started playing test matches for England. Juggling between different teams and sports, he sure did have an impressive cricket career.
3. Frank Hearne – From the famous Hearn family
Frank Hearne was the first English cricketer having played for both England and South Africa. He hails from a well-known Hearn family, where 12 members played first class cricket. While his brothers played strictly for England, Frank played a few matches for South Africa and even faced his siblings there. He had a modest cricketing career, with an average of 23 and 15 for the English and South African teams respectively.
4. Frank Mitchell – The cricketer who fought the 2nd Boer War
Frank Mitchell managed to play for two different cricketing nations in his short life span of 53 years. While he spent the later part of the 19th century playing for England, he went back to his country of origin, South Africa and played 3 test matches for them in 1912. He missed the 1900 English cricket season by virtue of his participation in the 2nd Boer War. However, in 1901, he was back in England, scoring seven centuries and was thus named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the year 1902. Quite rightly so!
5. Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi- The Nawab who shone for India and England
Let us move onto our very own, Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi. He was born into the family of the Nawabs of Pataudi in Delhi. He completed his education in England and was chosen for the 1932-33 Ashes series. Later in 1946, he played for India in the English tour. Even though his stint as the Indian captain was much criticized, he was named the Indian Cricket Cricketer of the year in 1946. His son Mansoor later captained the Indian team and they were the only father-son pair to be captaining India.
6. Abdul Hafeez Kardar- Father of Pakistani cricket
The next player on our list is Abdul Hafeez Kardar, regarded as the Father of Pakistan cricket. He was one of the three people to have played international cricket for both Pakistan and India. He was the first captain of the Pakistan team. Prior to India’s independence, Kardar played for the Indian team. Following the independence, he moved to play for Pakistan in 1952.
7. Sammy Guillen- From a family where 4 generations were involved in cricket
Sammy Guillen, born in Trinidad and Tobago was the only player to have played international test cricket for West Indies and New Zealand. He hails from a prestigious family of cricketers, which included his father, brothers and grandsons. His father, Victor Guillen was a well known test umpire in the West Indies. Sammy was a wicket-keeper batsman, having played his first test for West Indies and his last against them! He had a decent cricketing career and died in 2013 at the age of 88.
8. Kepler Wessels – Led the revived RSA team in 1992
Next up is the popular Kepler Wessels. He played in the 1980s to the early 1990s, his career being equally distributed between two cricketing nations of Australia and South Africa. Wessels is the only player to have played both test cricket and limited overs cricket for two different international teams. In 1991, when apartheid was removed from South Africa, Wessels was chosen as the captain of the new and reformed South African team. In the 1992 world cup, he led the team where 10 out of the 11 players made their debut. While he had a respectable test career for both the nations, his ODI performances were highly criticized.
9. Eoin Morgan – The one who scored centuries for 2 different nations
In more recent times, Eoin Morgan played a number of matches for both England and Ireland. Morgan played 23 matches for Ireland from 2006 to 2009. Thereafter, he played 75 matches for England, with an average inching close to 40. He is also the only player to have scored centuries for two different countries. His skill as a solid middle order batsman is also displayed in his performances in the IPL, where he plays for Kolkata Knight Riders.
10. Dirk Nannes – The fiery fast bowler who threatened bastmen
The last cricketer to have played for two different countries is Dirk Nannes, who played for both Netherlands and Australia. While he played 2 matches for Netherlands, he played a good 15 down under. Known as an accurate fast bowler, his consistency impressed critics. Nannes proved to be a useful bowler in the shortest format of the game. He plays for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL at present.