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10 Indian-born players who played international cricket for other countries

Nasser Hussain is one of several players born in India to play for a different country
Nasser Hussain is one of several players born in India to play for a different country
Yash Asthana
Modified 07 Apr 2020, 02:01 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

There are many players in contemporary international cricket who don’t represent the nation of their birth, and because of various reasons are instead playing for another country. The likes of Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Imran Tahir, Grant Elliot and Eoin Morgan are some of the well-known examples of these.

Over the years, there have been many high-profile players who were born in India but represented another country in international cricket. Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by English and Pakistani players, mostly who were born in the pre-Independence era. We also look at some contemporary international players, who were born in India but played for another team.

#1 Colin Cowdrey

Birthplace: Ootacamund (Ooty)

Played for England

The first cricketer to play in 100 Test matches, Colin Cowdrey was born at his family’s estate at Ootacamund (then in Madras Presidency) on 24 December 1932. His father Ernest Cowdrey, a tea planter by profession, was a cricketer himself and had represented the touring MCC side in India. Ernest applied for Colin’s registration with the MCC when he was still an infant, and taught him cricket soon after he started walking.

Colin moved to England when he was 5, and honed his cricket skills there and went on to represent the country with distinction. He scored a century to mark his landmark 100th Test match, and scored 22 Test centuries in his career (which was an English record until recently). Cowdrey also held the record for being the first batsman to score a century against all six contemporary Test-playing nations – both home and away.

Following his retirement, Cowdrey was proactively involved in the sport’s governing bodies and served tenures as the President of the MCC and Chairman of ICC.

#2 Douglas Jardine


Birthplace: Bombay (Mumbai)

Played for England

The former England captain, best known for the Bodyline tactics that he used in the 1932-33 Ashes, was born in Bombay on 23 October 1900. Malcolm Jardine, his father, was a former cricketer who taught at the Government Law School in Bombay. Douglas moved to Scotland at the age of 9 to stay with his mother’s family and started playing cricket a couple of years later.

Jardine first showed his leadership skills when he successfully captained his school cricket team. Though he played just 22 Tests for England, his use of the Bodyline tactics to control the run-scoring by Don Bradman ensured that Jardine made his mark in cricket history. 

#3 KS Ranjitsinhji


Birthplace: Kathiawar

Played for England

The ruler of the Nawanagar, Ranjitsinhji (or Ranji) was considered among the best batsmen of his era. Born in a royal family on 10 September 1872, Ranji went to England for education and was introduced to cricket by his college principal.

Ranji was also interested in Tennis, but decided to pursue Cricket. After qualifying to play, he made his first-class debut for Sussex and scored 77 and 150 in his first game. Ranji soon made his Test debut for England and scored a half-century and century in his first game against Australia.

Ranji’s career was cut short with domestic responsibilities, but he left his mark with his unorthodox batting style as he introduced the late cut and leg glance shots to the sport. A popular figure, it was the first instance of an Indian player playing with such success in England.

The BCCI started the Ranji Trophy, the most prestigious first-class tournament in India, in his memory, with the first edition taking place in 1934-35.

#4 KS Duleepsinhji

Birthplace: Kathiawar

Played for England

Ranji’s nephew Duleep followed his path, as he achieved success in British first-class cricket where he represented Cambridge University and Sussex and later with the English national side. Duleep’s Test career was cut short by recurring illness, and he managed to play 12 Tests with a return of an impressive average above 58. He played his last Test in 1931, one year before the Indian national side made its Test bow.


Post-retirement, Duleep served in the Indian Public Service, which included stints as the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand. The BCCI has named the inter-zone competition Duleep Trophy in his honour.

#5 Bob Woolmer

Birthplace: Kanpur

Played for England

The highly regarded and popular coach, who worked with Warwickshire, South Africa and Pakistan, was born in Kanpur on 14 May 1948. Bob Woolmer’s father Clarence Woolmer was a cricketer who captained the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) team. It is said that when Bob was born, Clarence placed a cricket bat and ball in the baby’s cot hoping that he would grow up and become a cricketer.

Woolmer had his schooling done in Kent, and he went on to play for the county side. He made his debut for the English team in 1972 and regularly featured before joining Kerry Packer’s breakaway World Series.

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Published 12 May 2015, 16:15 IST
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