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Australian pacer Shaun Tait becomes a citizen of India

Shaun Tait will be eligible to play for India in 2020

Shaun Tait has received an Indian passport

What’s the story?

Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait has officially become an overseas citizen of India. Also known as “The Wild Thing”, Tait got married to Indian model, Mashoom Singha, in 2014. Tait first met Mashoom when he was playing for Rajasthan Royals in 2010 and the duo dated for four years before tying the knot. 

The Details

After marrying an Indian, Tait has acquired an Indian passport, thereby becoming an overseas citizen of the country. It should be noted here that overseas citizenship is different from dual citizenship, as the Indian constitution does not permit the latter.

According to the constitution, “The Government of India, on application, may register any person as a overseas citizen of India if the person is a spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application.”

Now that Tait has an Indian passport, the question that arises is whether he can represent the Indian cricket team. The answer is NO. The ICC rules state that a player needs to wait for at least four years after his last international performance to represent another country. Tait last played for Australia in January 2016 and will be eligible to play for India in 2020.

In case you didn’t know...

Tait is one of the fastest bowlers to have ever played the sport. Having made his debut for Australia in 2005, the speedster was often struck down by injuries. He was inconsistent and failed to cement his place in the Australian team. 

The South Australia-born pacer has represented the Aussies in two Tests, 21 ODIs and 35 T20Is and has picked up a combined total of 91 wickets in all the three formats. He was also a part of the Australian side that won the 2007 World Cup.

In 2008, Tait took a voluntary retirement from the game for an indefinite period of time. Later, he made a comeback before announcing his retirement from first-class cricket to prolong his T20 career.

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Author’s take

The Indian cricket team and its fans have always longed for a fast bowler capable of bowling above 145 kmph consistently, and Tait is someone who fits the bill. However, given that he can’t represent the Indian team till 2020, he might never play for the Men in Blue as he will turn 38 by the time he becomes eligible. 

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