10 current Asian-origin cricketers who are prospering in international cricket for other teams

Bukhari is one of the most prolific bowlers in Dutch cricket history
Deeptesh Sen

With modernity, the world has become a global village with an increasing cosmopolitan culture. People travel a great deal and even choose to live in other parts of the world for a change in occupation or lifestyle. The continents of Europe, Australia and America are in fact driven by a booming Asian population who live and work there.Over the years, many people from the Asian communities have made these distant lands their home and contributed hugely to the success of the countries they are living in. Cricket is no different, with many players of Asian origin doing well for other countries.Let us look at 10 such current Asian-origin cricketers who have tasted success elsewhere. Retired players have not been considered for this list.

#10 Mudassar Bukhari (Netherlands)

Bukhari is one of the most prolific bowlers in Dutch cricket history

When Netherlands secured their final berth in the World T20 qualifier at Malahide, the hero who scripted their victory was Mudassar Bukhari. His fiery spell of 4 for 28 helped Netherlands clinch the semi-final tie. This was, however, nothing extraordinary for Bukhari who has come to be recognised as one of the most reliable all-rounders in Netherlands.

Originally of Pakistani descent, Bukhari is known as a bowling all-rounder as he has scored vital runs as a pinch hitter for Netherlands in the past. He has scored 516 ODI runs which includes two half-centuries. He also has 57 wickets from 46 ODIs at a healthy economy of 4.71.

#9 Safyaan Sharif (Scotland)

safyaan sharif
Safyaan helped Scotland to qualify for the 2015 World Cup

Safyaan Mohammed Sharif is one of the lesser known upcoming cricketers of Pakistani origin who has been doing well for Scotland of late. Sharif has been one of the shining lights who helped Scotland win the ICC World Cup qualifiers and qualify for the World Cup in 2015.

Sharif made his ODI debut against the Netherlands where he impressed everyone with his spell of 4 for 27 off 8 overs. He went on to take 7 wickets in three matches including a crucial 3 for 41 against the UAE in the final.

The young confident bowler who looks up to MS Dhoni and Dale Steyn as his role models told in an interview how he had prospered as a cricketer from a very young age. "I started playing when I was 11 years old at Dunnikier Cricket Club which was my local club. My dad used to play there also, and I began by playing at the junior level.

"From there I went on to Kismet Cricket Club before joining the junior side for Largo at Under 15s, Under 17s and Under 19s โ€“ That is where I played all my cricket. I also then played for the Largo senior side. I got a lot of help from Kismet and Largo, and Largo pushed me to district trials where I got noticed and picked for the Scotland side."

#8 Fawad Ahmed (Australia)

fawad ahmed
Fawad was forced to leave Pakistan and move to Australia

Fawad Ahmed's story is one of brilliance and perseverance in the face of adversity. Till 2010, Ahmed made appearances in Pakistani domestic cricket till he, according to his claim, was forced to emigrate to Australia being hounded by the extremists for having worked for an NGO that educated women.

He claimed refugee status and was given Australian citizenship in 2013 after which he went on to make his debut for the national team. He, however, made brief appearances for the Australian team as he was always next in hierarchy to Nathan Lyon in the spin department despite having a better average and strike-rate than him in domestic cricket.

He has also made regular appearances for the Sydney Thunders in the Big Bash and has enjoyed decent success. He is truly one of the great success stories of modern cricket.

#7 Gurinder Sandhu (Australia)

gurinder sandhu
Sandhu made his Australia debut against India in January last year

A tall bowler who can run in and hit the deck hard even on lifeless wickets, Gurinder Sandhu is showing India what they are missing at the moment. Of Punjabi descent with his parents having emigrated to Australia in the 80s, Sandhu bagged the Steve Waugh medal for his brilliant domestic performances in 2012-13.

He delivered a series of good performances for Australia A last year. Sandhu also made appearances for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League and the Delhi Daredevils in the 2015 edition of the IPL. He gets good bounce and purchase of the pitch and can be a dangerous bowler because of his ability to swing the ball.

#6 Ish Sodhi (New Zealand)

ish sodhi
Sodhi has played in 11 test matches for New Zealand

One of the young, upcoming, talented leg-spinners for New Zealand is Ish Sodhi. Inderbir Singh Sodhi was born in Ludhiana in the Punjab state of India and migrated to Auckland when he was young. He has been plying his trade for the Northern Districts in New Zealand.

Sodhi described what a surreal feeling it was for him when he was about to make his Test appearance against India at the Eden Park last year. "I know it is going to be a big challenge but I am ready for it. I will just try to do the basics as well as I can," he said before the match.

His father Rajbir Singh Sodhi recalls how his son was first introduced to cricket. "Seven years ago, he came up to me and said 'Dad, can I ask for a favour. I love this game and I want to do something big, please let me have a shot at this' ... He absolutely loves the environment he's in right now. Ish is very proud to sport a fern logo on his chest."

#5 Adil Rashid (England)

adil rashid
Rashid made his test debut against Pakistan in October 2015

Adil Rashid holds the distinction of being only the third Yorkshire-born Asian and first cricketer of Pakistani origin to have represented Yorkshire in the English county cricket. Spotted early as one of the most talented spinners and potential all-rounders, he was inducted into the England team in 2009. His ODI debut came later the next year.

Rashid made an instant impression on his Yorkshire debut as he took 6 wickets and scored 70-odd runs in his second match. His ability to score quick valuable runs with the bat coupled with the extra fizz he brings into the bowling attack is seen as an added bonus to the England team. The English fans are incredibly excited about him and have only good things to expect from him now.

#4 Usman Khawaja (Australia)

usman khawaja
Khawaja recently scored a century in the Boxing Day test match against West Indies

Usman Khawaja became the first Muslim cricketer of Pakistani origin to play international cricket for Australia when he made his debut in the 2011 Ashes series. Replacing an injured Ricky Ponting, he looked settled but only managed to score 37 and 21 in his debut Test.

A left-hander who exudes class, Khawaja has been in and out of the national side much to the disappointment of his fans. Though he is not considered to be much of an ODI player, he now remains a vital member of the Australian Test team.

He has been in good form of late, piling up runs against the West Indies in the Frank Worrell Trophy. He has a good average of 46.36 in Tests and is expected to play a vital role in the Australian middle order for a few more years to come

#3 Sunil Narine (West Indies)

sunil narine
Narine has picked 77 wickets in 55 ODIs for West Indies

One of the most prolific Indian-origin players to have achieved remarkable feats in recent times is the West Indian off-spinner, Sunil Narine. Narine's first major claim to fame was his brilliant achievement for the KKR in the 2012 IPL where he was adjudged the Player of the Tournament for having bagged 24 wickets at an economy of 5.47.

Narine has been called the mystery bowler as he has been tough to score against and batsmen have repeatedly found it difficult to read him. He has been a standout performer for the KKR over the years. West Indies would really hope that he can change his action and be cleared to bowl in the ICC World T20 this year.

#2 Moeen Ali (England)

moeen ali
Moeen Ali has been a mainstay in the English team for quite some time now

One of the major reasons for England's good performances of late is the meteoric rise of Moeen Ali. The bearded boy from Birmingham has been achieving wonders with the bat and the ball in the past year. He is of Pakistani descent and belongs to the Mirpuri community.

He had a batting average of 24.86 in Tests and 25.06 in ODIs last year. He also has 32 Test wickets and 23 ODI scalps in 2015 to go with his runs. Because of his tremendous achievements, he has made it to both our lists of Top 10 ODI and Top 5 Test all-rounders of the year. Moeen Ali is a vital cog in the English batting order now and brings healthy balance to the team with his bowling.

#1 Hashim Amla (South Africa)

hashim amla
Amla is considered as one of the best batsmen around

Due to his prolific consistency and finesse, Hashim Amla is widely considered to be one of the best modern cricketers to have ever played the game. Though born in South Africa, Amla's roots can be traced back to Surat in the state of Gujarat in India.

With over 6000 runs in ODIs and Tests and great averages of 50.05 and 52.70 in the two formats respectively, Amla is a modern run machine who keeps piling up the agony on the opposition bowlers. He had a relatively quieter time as he struggled against India in 2015 but he is sure to bounce back with renewed vigour this year.

Edited by Staff Editor


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