I don't have a problem with this at all. As a rugby fan, however, I get really annoyed when NZ rugby is accused of picking foreigners when Samoan (etc) kids move to NZ with their families when they are 3 years old (or are born in NZ!), and Northern hemisphere 'experts' say we are poaching!!!???!!!!
On another note - prediction time. Stokes, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham - all similar players of a similar age - who will have the most successful career?
Stokes has the best people surrounding him, Anderson will get the most opportunities and Neesham is the one who will have to work the most for his opportunities.
Stokes or Neesham imo. Anderson struggles to stay fit and I'm dubious he can make it as a batsman alone. The other two have the ceilings to be test standard in both disciplines and stay fit.
I personally couldn't care less about the birthplace of players and I don't hold specific resentment towards those who played for two countries, but what grinds my gears is when players:
- elect to play for their country of residence for the sake of economics, convenience or ease of selection despite the fact that they identify themselves as holding a different nationality, or would actively support another international cricket team ahead of their country of residence if they weren't personally involved
- move to another country they have no real ties to in order to play domestic cricket and then turn up in the national setup
The second dot point in particular really grinds my gears; the idea of Grant Elliott packing his bags and leaving his role as a player on the cusp of the professional cricket setup in South Africa to go to New Zealand in his 20s, only to end up playing for New Zealand makes a complete mockery of the way I see international representation. I have absolutely no gripe with him moving to New Zealand in order to play domestic cricket but to represent the national team after that was a joke.
The problem with my dots points of course is that they're heavily based on individual loyalties and state of mind, meaning they're very hard to actually test or codify. And of course, as much as I'd like it to as a fan, international cricket does not exist in a utopian bubble, nor is it played by robots, so players are naturally going to do what's best for their careers, their personal lives and their families. You can't blame them for doing that and you can't blame the countries they move to for selecting them if they're eligible and the best available - you can't really blame anyone, but to me it's still definitely unfortunate.
I think one of the biggest problems international cricket is facing with this is the invisible cap we've placed on how good a player from say, Zimbabwe or Ireland, is allowed to get before he stops playing for them. If you're good enough to play for England then you're straight up not going to play for Zimbabwe or Ireland regardless of your passport status - if you're an Irishman then you'll literally actually get picked for England and if you're a Zimbabwean, even if you don't have a European passport, a player of that calibre will no doubt get offered a deal as an overseas county player which would be too good to refuse. This really sucks the life out of following a side like that because while previously Zimbabwe fans could live in hope that no matter how rubbish the side was and how dire the political situation in the country was, there was a small, small chance that the next Andy Flower or Heath Streak would just randomly emerge. The side could be rubbish but the scope for improvement was unlimited, and now the realistic situation is that the scope for improvement is very much capped. It makes me question whether there's any real point in having these sides at all sometimes, when they're legitimately better off producing a player of Malcolm Waller standard than Kyle Jarvis standard.
I'm worried Brendan Taylor will get offered and accept a contract somewhere. He's definitely good enough to play county cricket.
I don't see a problem with anyone representing any country as I am sure Brit players would love to have a season or two in warmer places
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You seriously have to question the sanity of Stokes' parents when they move from arguably the most beautiful country on the planet to a complete and utter ****-hole like northern England
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