5 cricketers who played Under-19 and international cricket for two different countries
- These five cricketers played junior level cricket for their birth country before switching countries later.
- Two players in this list first featured for Zimbabwe before shifting to New Zealand and England.
There have been several instances when a player represents his country of birth at the Under-19 level and then goes to play for another nation at the International level. Better opportunities in cricketing career, ambition to achieve further in the sport are a few reasons why players prefer to change countries.
It’s no secret that every cricketer would want to earn money and have a healthy career apart from living their passion for getting involved in the illustrious sport. In most cases, the journey begins from representing the junior side and earning a spot in the senior team.
However, with some youngsters unable to maintain consistency, they tend to lose out on senior team contracts, forcing them to try out different avenues to fuel their senior career.
On that note, we take a look at five cricketers who went on to represent a different country after playing for their birth country at the U-19 level.
#5 Imran Tahir (Pakistan and South Africa)
Mohammad Imran Tahir has been plying his trade for the South African national team since 2011 and has been an indispensable component of their setup since then. However, it was only in 2011 that he became eligible to represent Africa in international cricket.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, the leg-spinner played a chunk of his junior cricket in his country of birth and has also represented Pakistan at the Under-19 level ODI format in 1998. He picked 15 wickets in 16 matches for his U-19 team with a four-wicket haul to show for.
He had also been a part of the Pakistan side in the U-19 World Cup staged in South Africa in 1998.
#4 Colin de Grandhomme (Zimbabwe and New Zealand)
Having kick-started his Test career with magical figures of 6/41, the best for a New Zealand debutant, Colin de Grandhomme has turned out to be more than a handy all-rounder for his country. Nevertheless, De Grandhomme started his junior career in his birth country, Zimbabwe.
He represented Zimbabwe at the U-19 level and played for them in the World Cup. In six games, he scored 94 runs at an average of 23.5 with a top score of 41 against the Sri Lankan U-19 team.
In 2006, he shifted to New Zealand and represented Auckland in the domestic circuit after which he made his way into the New Zealand national team. Since making his debut for the NZ senior team, the 33-year-old has played in 24 Tests, 41 ODIs and 36 T20Is for his side.
#3 Gary Ballance (Zimbabwe and England)
The swashbuckling left-handed batsman from England has been a prolific run-scorer for Yorkshire- his domestic team in the English county. Following consistent performances with the willow in the domestic circuit, he was drafted into the England national team.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Gary Ballance represented the Zimbabwean U-19 cricket team in 2006 U-19 World Cup where he scored 137 runs in five matches at an average of 27.40.
His match-winning show came against England U-19 where he top-scored with 47 runs and picked up three wickets to be adjudged the Man of the Match. Ballance has played 23 Test matches and 16 ODIs.
#2 Grant Elliot (South Africa and New Zealand)
The Kiwi all-rounder has been handy for New Zealand but hasn’t been a regular feature in their team. His jaw-dropping knock of 84 runs against South Africa in the semifinal of the 2015 World Cup remains the most impactful innings he has played for NZ.
However, before moving to New Zealand, he played for the South African U-19 team in junior World Cup that was hosted by South Africa. In six games, he scored 130 runs, including a personal best of 45 against Sri Lanka U-19.
In 2016, Grant Elliott announced his retirement from ODI cricket, eight years after making his ODI debut for NZ against England.
#1 Jonathan Trott (South Africa and England)
Jonathan Trott had a prolific run with the England cricket team in both Test and ODI formats. With as many as 13 International tons, he had hardly gone under the radar during his days with the England team.
The talent was well and truly palpable even during his U-19 days with the South African cricket team. During the U-19 World Cup in Australia, he scored 156 runs in six games at an average of 39.
It was in May 2015 when Trott last represented England after which he announced his retirement from international cricket.