Over the years, there have been many cricketers of Indian origin who have played for other countries. Starting from the days of Ranjit Sinhji, many famous cricketers hailing from India later went on to represent a different country altogether.
So we thought of looking back at the cricketers who either played for the Indian national team or featured in the Indian domestic circuit before going on to play for another country. Here is the list:
Disclaimer: There could be other cricketers in this list as well. We picked the ones about whom we found conclusive data and evidence.
1. Gul Mohammad
Gul Mohammad belongs to the rare breed of cricketers who have represented two countries in Tests. He played eight times for India and once for Pakistan.
Born in 1921, Mohammad played for Islamia College when he was young and made his Ranji Trophy debut in 1938 for Northern India.
An attacking left-handed batsman who could also bowl left-arm seamers, Mohammad made his debut for India in 1946, but took Pakistan citizenship in 1955.
He played just one Test for his new country in 1956 before handling various roles in the Pakistan cricket body.
2. Amir Elahi
Amir Elahi also belongs to the list of 12 cricketers who have played for two different countries and is one of the 20 oldest cricketers to have played a Test match.
Playing a single Test for India against Australia at Sydney in 1947, Elahi later played five Tests for Pakistan in 1952-53. Surprisingly, all those matches were in India.
Though he started his career as a medium-pace bowler, Elahi later turned to leg-breaks and googlies which further boosted his career.
Playing for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, Elahi scalped 193 wickets at an outstanding average of 24.72. He also helped Baroda win the coveted trophy in 1946-47.
One of his finest moments for Pakistan came in the match against India where he stitched a last-wicket partnership of 104 with Zulfiqar Ahmed at Madras.
3. Abdul Hafeez Kardar
Legendary Pakistan skipper Imran Khan once talked effusively about the importance of Abdul Hafeez Kardar in Pakistan cricket. He pointed out that after Kardar's retirement, Pakistan cricket was thrown to the wolves - the cricket bureaucrats, whose progeny still rule the game.
Touted as the father figure of Pakistan cricket, the flamboyant Kardar played for India during the 1946 tour of England under the name Abdul Hafeez.
Later, he led Pakistan in 23 Tests with considerable flair, and reached unprecedented heights in that country. Never shy about expressing himself, Kardar ushered in a new era in Pakistan cricket with his ingenious decisions on the field.
Kardar retired from international Test cricket in 1958.
4. Krishna Chandran
Having made his List A debut for Kerala, Krishna Chandran later went on to represent the United Arab Emirates in international cricket.
Chandran became the first Keralite to play for the United Arab Emirates when he was named in their squad for the Asian Cricket Council Premier League tournament in May 2014. He had moved to the region from India in 2010.
A middle-order batsman and medium pacer, Chandran had represented Mahaveer Jain College in Bangalore before moving up the Kerala age-group teams, from U-19 to U-25.
Playing for the UAE, Chandran has picked up seven wickets and scored 134 runs in 12 ODIs.
5. Swapnil Patil
Swapnil Patil, who hails from Mumbai, represented the team at the Under-19 and Under-22 level. He then moved to UAE for work, which would give him the opportunity to play a lot of cricket.
Patil had a sensational UAE debut, coming very close to making a century in his first game. That was against Scotland at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln, in the final of the World Cup Qualifiers 2014.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has played 13 ODIs and 18 T20Is for UAE so far and averages 26.30 and 14.38 respectively.
6. Munis Ansari
A bowler with a sling-like action, similar to that of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, Munis Ansari made headlines when he was called up for India's net session before the Sri Lanka series in 2005.
Emerging from a bowling talent hunt, Ansari reportedly impressed the likes of Greg Chappell and Harbhajan Singh. However, he soon faded away into obscurity.
Ansari eventually went on to play for Oman in T20Is, making his debut for them against Afghanistan in 2015. The pacer also played for Oman in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016.
The man who once got the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen out while playing for Cricket Club of India XI is still a regular member of the Oman side.
7. Jeet Raval
Jeet Raval, who played for Gujarat at the Under-15 and Under-17 levels, was recently picked in New Zealand's squad for the tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa. The southpaw, who is a fan of Sourav Ganguly, was prolific for the Auckland side in the domestic competition.
Raval spoke with DNA about his connection with India in an interview, saying:
“You know I represented Gujarat at the Under-15 and Under-17 levels. I remember playing with Rahane, who is from Mumbai, and Jadeja, who is from Saurashtra. I also played with Ishant Sharma, Piyush Chawla. Parthiv Patel is a good friend. He inspired me to work hard.”
8. Shakti Gauchan
The Nepal all-rounder once dreamed of playing for India as he sharpened his skills in Mumbai. He also represented the city’s Under-15 and Under-17 teams.
Though the 32-year-old’s dreams were dashed, he later fulfilled his aspirations of playing in international cricket by appearing for the neighbouring Nepal.
Not only that, but Gauchan also became the second Nepalese cricketer to score an international century when he slammed an unbeaten 106 off 103 balls against Italy during the 2005 World Cup Qualifying Series.
He also played in the 2002 ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, and later made his debut for the senior side in the 2002 ACC Trophy in Singapore.Published 21 Jun 2016, 10:09 IST