There have been numerous Indian origin cricketers who have played for other countries and many of them have been great players of the game. Hashim Amla is the most well-known contemporary player of Indian-origin to have etched his name in cricket history. However, many other greats ranging from the likes of West-Indian great Alvin Kallicharran to current day sensations like Sunil Narine can boast of Indian ancestry.
Here’s a look at 5 such phenomenal cricketers to have some unique claim t the history books of cricket records.
#1 Rohan Kanhai: First man of Indian origin to lead the West Indies at the highest level
Rohan Kanhai is famous for being part of the West Indian team that won the inaugural 1975 Cricket World Cup. However what is not popularly known is Kanhai was the second player of Indian origin after Sonny Ramadhin to play for the West Indies and holds the record for being the first Indian-origin player to captain the West Indies at the highest level.
The Guyanese cricketer with a Bhojpuri origin captained West Indies in 13 Tests in 1973-74 setting precedent for players like Alvin Kallicharran, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan. He also has the record of being West Indies’ first ODI skipper.
256 for West Indies against India in Kolkata in 1958 was also the record for the highest score by a visiting batsman against India until 2005 when Younis Khan scored 267 in Bangalore. His 256 was also the first Test double at the Eden Gardens and was the record highest score at the ground until VVS Laxman scored his epic 281.
[Trivia : Sunil Gavaskar's son is named after Rohan Kanhai. Gavaskar wrote about him - "To say that he is the greatest batsman I have ever seen so far is to put it mildly."]
#2 Nasser Hussain: Set a new world record for a 150 ft catch
One of the most famous Indian origin players in recent times, Nasser Hussain is already popular for holding the distinction of being aChennai born captain of the England national cricket team.
Hussain added a new feather in his cap at Lords when he set a new world record for a successful attempt at the highest catch of a cricket ball. Consequently, the right-hander caught the red ball from 49 meters (160 feet and 9.1 inches) amidst windy conditions to carve out a place for himself in the iconic Guinness World Records. However, he could not get anywhere near the final one that was dropped at a whopping 400 feet.
After entering his name into the record book, Hussain stated that it was a different experience for him and he had great fun. “It was great fun to spend the morning attempting to catch cricket balls dropped from a drone at the home of cricket – something I never thought I would do.”
#3 Lisa Sthalekar: First woman to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs
Lisa Carprini Sthalekar happens to be one of the most popular Australian cricketers today. The Indian-born Australian international cricketer was rated as the leading all-rounder in the world when rankings were introduced. She holds the record for being the first woman cricketer to hold the unique double of 1,000 runs and 100 Wickets in One-Day Internationals. She also holds the distinction of being the first female board member of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA)
She happens to be one of the founders of the Women’s International Cricket League (WICL) and was an integral part of the Australian team that won the 2013 Women’s Cricket World Cup. She was also a commentator for IPL 8.
Sthalekar was named Australia Women’s Cricketer of the year in – 2007, 2008 and has been involved in 12 successful Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) triumphs.
#4 Asif Karim: Captained Kenya in both ODIs and Davis Cup
Kenyan left-arm spinner Asif Karim of Indian ancestry was the captain of Kenya in the 1999 ICC World Cup and called back to the team to add experience in 2003 WC in South Africa, he recorded his name in cricket history as being part of the first non-Test match playing nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
In the 2003 WC match against Australia he returned figures of 8.2-6-7-3 and bagged the Man of the match award. The useful lower-order batsman is often recognized as one of the best left-arm spinners outside the Test playing nations.
In 1988 he played a Davis Cup tie against Egypt where he represented Kenya. Karim incidentally holds the record for having the unique distinction of having captained his country in both representative cricket (ODIs) and tennis (Davis Cup).
#5 Bransby Beauchamp Cooper : First Indian-born cricketer to play Test cricket for Australia
The grand daddy of India-origin cricket records. Bransby Beauchamp Cooper was a right-hand batsman and wicket-keeper who holds the unique record of being the first Indian-born cricketer to play Test cricket when he played in the first official Test match in Melbourne in 1877 which coincidentally started on his 33rd birthday.
Born on March 15, 1844 in Dhaka in British India (which is now known as Dhaka in Bangladesh), Cooper incidentally also holds the record for being the first Indian origin player to be a member of the Australian Cricket Team. Though he was thought to be named Captain, the honour of captaincy went to Dave Gregory and Cooper could only manage scores of 15 and 3, and took 2 catches. Unfortunately that was the only Test he ever played.
Test cricket was born and with it was born the Indian association towards the Gentleman’s game. In his first-class career, Cooper scored 1600 runs, took 41 catches, and made 20 stumpings.