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5 cricketers who changed nationality midway through their international career

Eoin Morgan played for Ireland before switching to England.
Eoin Morgan played for Ireland before switching to England.
ANALYST
Modified 03 May 2020
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Not all players who play domestic cricket across various cricketing nations receive an opportunity to represent their own country. The chances for breaking into the national team are much lesser in the countries which are considered the game's powerhouses compared to those in associate and affiliate nations.

However, cricket has quite a few instances of players who got the privilege to play for two different countries during their respective international careers. While some of them switched from their native country to another, others came back from elsewhere to play for their own.

Here are five cricketers who changed nationality midway through their international career.


1. Kepler Wessels

Kepler Wessels in action for Australia in the 1985 Ashes series
Kepler Wessels in action for Australia in the 1985 Ashes series

Kepler Wessels is remembered more for being one of South Africa's first captains on their return to international cricket in the early 1990s. However, almost a decade before he started playing for the Proteas, Wessels was a part of the Australian team for close to four years.

He sported the Baggy Green for a span of 24 Test matches and also played for them in 54 ODIs. In the year 1985, Kepler Wessels retired from the game only to return six years later to play for his home team, South Africa.

Wessels represented the South Africans in 16 Tests and 55 ODIs between the years 1991 and 1994. On his retirement, Hansie Cronje took over as the skipper of the Proteas for the next few years.


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2. Eoin Morgan

Morgan playing for Ireland in the 2007 World Cup
Morgan playing for Ireland in the 2007 World Cup

England's current limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan has enjoyed a pretty successful career so far. However, the Dublin-born cricketer's early international career saw him represent his home country of Ireland. Morgan played 23 ODI matches for the Irish team from 2006 to 2009, and he was also part of their 2007 ICC World Cup squad.

In search of broader cricketing horizons, the southpaw made a career-changing switch to England in 2009 and has been playing for them ever since. Eoin Morgan has 16 Test matches and 236 ODIs to his credit and famously led England to the World Cup title in 2019.


3. Roelof van der Merwe

van der Merwe has played alongside the likes of de Villiers, Kallis and Amla
van der Merwe has played alongside the likes of de Villiers, Kallis and Amla
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All-rounder Roelof van der Merwe was born in Johannesburg and played most of his domestic cricket in South Africa. In the year 2009, van der Merwe made his international debut for the Proteas in a T20I against Australia. A few days later, he was playing in the ODI team as well.

He represented the South African team in 13 ODIs and as many T20I matches. In 2015, five years after his last game for South Africa, Roelof van der Merwe made a move to the Netherlands. Since then, he has played in the ODI format and T20Is for his side.


4. Abdul Hafeez Kardar

Kardar (front row, 3rd from left) with Pakistan team in 1954
Kardar (front row, 3rd from left) with Pakistan team in 1954

Abdul Hafeez Kardar is one of the very few cricketers who have played for both India and Pakistan in Tests. Kardar was born in Lahore, Punjab, which was then part of an undivided India. He represented the Indian team in three Test matches on their tour of England in the year 1946.

After the country of Pakistan was formed in 1947, Kardar moved there and made his debut for them in 1952 against India at Delhi. He is known to be the first captain of the Pakistani team and played 23 Tests for them between 1952 and 1958. Abdul Hafeez Kardar is widely regarded as an iconic figure in Pakistan's cricket history.


5. Dirk Nannes

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Dirk Nannes playing in Dutch colours
Dirk Nannes playing in Dutch colours

A left-arm fast bowler by trade, Dirk Nannes was born in Australia and was a professional skier until the year 1999. From there, he took up cricket and played at the club level for a few years before making his way into Australian domestic cricket. However, following a snub from the selectors, he proceeded to become part of the Netherlands team.

Nannes made his T20I debut in Dutch colours during the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and only played one more match for them. Soon enough, though, he was named in Australia's limited-overs team, and he switched teams. The pacer played a single ODI and 15 T20Is for the Aussies in a brief international career.

Published 23 Mar 2020, 16:05 IST
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