The Ashes: 5 England-born cricketers who played for Australia and vice-versa
Spanning more than 135 years, the Ashes is one of the oldest rivalries in top-level sport. Although they may not have long-standing political as well as geographical animosity like India and Pakistan, England and Australia do not give an inch to each other on the cricket field. With the 2017/18 Magellan Ashes set to add yet another chapter to the fabled history, we are celebrating the Anglo-Australian face-off with extensive and exclusive segments surrounding the intricacies of the traditional rivalry.
This particular segment hones in on five high-profile players who were either born in England but played for Australia or born in Australia and played for England in the Ashes series. The famous cricketers, who shifted allegiance in the age-old rivalry, have been arranged in reverse chronological order of their respective maiden appearances in Test cricket.
Extra Cover: Top 5 cricketers who played for two countries
Considering the fact that his brief international career began and ended before the Ashes legend was born in 1882/83, the exalted Charles Bannerman does not enter into the discussion even though the England-born batsman represented Australia.
#5 Andrew Symonds (Australia)
Despite being an established member of the domineering Australian ODI outfit, Andrew Symonds was more than five years into his white-ball career before finally receiving the coveted Baggy Green in 2004. In sharp contrast to his whopping 212 matches across both limited-overs formats, the utility player managed only 26 appearances at Test level. Three of those came in the 2006/07 Ashes series during which Australia mercilessly reclaimed the urn by pounding England 5-0. The dynamic right-hander contributed with a sublime 156 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in the Boxing Day Test.
Not many would know that Symonds could have opted to play for England. Born in Birmingham to parents of Caribbean and Scandinavian heritage, he was only three months old when an Australian couple adopted him and moved to Queensland. His adoptive father, Ken, an ardent supporter of cricket, worked earnestly with him during his formative years. From his childhood, he had set his sights on donning the Baggy Green.
Long before he earned his maiden call-up to the Australian team for an ODI series in Pakistan, an opportunity arose from the land of his birth. During his stint with Gloucestershire, his blistering hitting turned heads in the County circuit. But Symonds refused to relent and backed himself to play for Australia. Although his prowess was mostly restricted to the limited-overs arena, he still managed to end his Test career with a respectable average of 40.61.
Place of Birth
Birmingham, Warwickshire (England) - June 9, 1975
2006/07 in Australia