Monday, 17 May 2010

Imported Talent...

I have to say, watching the Twenty20 world final on Sunday was easily the best I have ever seen England play in a limited overs match.  The turn around in the last 12 months is staggering.  I personally would put it down to the presence of Eoin Morgan.  Before he came onto the scene it appeared that England were scared to go for the rope.  I currently think he would make it into any team in world cricket.  If I were England I would have played him at #4 in Twenty20 to ensure he gets as much time at the crease as possible, however you shouldn't mess with a winning formula.

Eoin though, along with KP, Keiswetter and Lumb have opened up the debate regarding nationality and playing for one's country.  Eoin is Irish, and could have played against England in the group stages.  I have no problem with him preferring England however, he isn't likely to get top standard test cricket in his Irish career (more the pity).  The first three however were all born in South Africa.  This has lead to the call that they shouldn't be able to represent England.

I think each case needs to be looked at differently.  I'll start with Keiswetter, I will concede that he did begin his career playing for South Africa under 19s, however his mother was Scottish.  He didn't like the way he was treated in SA and chose England to develop his cricket.  For me he qualifies on parentage.  Michael Lumb is similar, his father played cricket for Yorkshire, was English and by all accounts should have represented England.  I don't see why growing up in a different country should prevent his son from having the chance he was denied.  Finally there is the dynamic Kevin Pietersen, he qualified for England via his mother and 4 years residency.  He probably had more chance in the SA set up than anyone but chose to work to be in the England set up.

I see no reason why these individuals shouldn't be representing England.  They all are showing that it is the country they want to represent, KP even has a 3 lions tattoo!  For me as long as they can legally represent the country and show the desire to play for England then there is no reason why they should play for their country!

This isn't a new phenomenon either, despite what the media may be portraying.  I grew up in the 90's with England greats such as: Graeme Hick (Zimbabwe), Nasser Hussain (India), Adam and Ben (RIP) Hollioake (Australia), to name but a few who were born outside of England but still represented the country.

I for one hope that these players stay, like all members of the team, for as long as their performance and attitude merit it!

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