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5 famous cricketers who changed their nationality and played international cricket

Sujith Mohan
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
58.15K   //    04 Jun 2018, 14:25 IST

Tahir was born in Lahore
Imran Tahir was born in Lahore

Across sports, it is not uncommon for players to change their nationality and represent another country. Cricket is no exception to that and there were quite a few instances in the sport where players moved from one country to another to play international cricket. 

Lack of opportunities to play the game was the main reason in the past behind players switching allegiance between countries. While some players moved from their country of birth to another, others came back to play for their native country. 

Abdul Hafeez Kardar is one of the very few players who have played for both India and Pakistan in Tests and Kepler Wessels became the first cricketer to have played One Day International cricket for two countries, Australia and South Africa.

Without much ado, let's take a look at the five famous cricketers who changed their nationality and played international cricket.


#1 Kevin Pietersen 

England v Australia: 2nd NatWest Series ODI
Kevin Pietersen in action for England

One of the most exciting cricketers to have played the game, the swashbuckling batsman was phenomenal for England throughout his playing days. Kevin Pietersen has played more than 100 Tests and One Day Internationals for England, and scored more than 13500 runs. 

Things could have been different in his career, if not for the quota system in South Africa. He was left of the Natal side early in his playing days and he decided that the time had come for him to move out of South Africa. Pietersen moved to England, his mother’s place of birth, and played well for Nottinghamshire and Hampshire. 

He became an international cricketer for England in 2005 and went on to play for more than 10 years for the national team. 

In an exclusive extract from his new book Crossing The Boundary, Pietersen said that he was left out the Natal side in 2000 because of the prevalent quota policy, which eventually led him to seek his career in England.

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