an elite list of 26 men (Ryan Campbell is set to be the 27th) have not only done that, they have actually played international cricket for two teams © Getty Images
Clockwise, from top left: Ryan Campbell, Eoin Morgan, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, Kepler Wessels © Getty Images

Representing one’s own country for a prestigious occasion such as a game of cricket is easily a dream every cricket lover nurtures. Some take their love for the game seriously preparing oneself to become cricketers and remain immortal through their contributions towards it for their national side. While it is hard to become able to get a chance to play international cricket, some have managed to do it for multiple nations and have enlisted themselves to a unique bunch. The number of such players is 26 till date, and the moment Ryan Campbell steps out to play for Hong Kong in ICC World T20 2016, he will become the 27th. Campbell played two One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia back in 2002, and is all set to make a comeback to international cricket at the age of 40 for Hong Kong. Beforehand, Paulami Chakraborty lists all the players who have been a member of the unique list.

It is not every day that a person uproots himself to move to another country. It is, by no means, an easy exercise. But an elite list of 26 men (Ryan Campbell is set to be the 27th) have not only done that, they have actually played international cricket for two teams. The reasons have been different for every cricketer.

Cricketers representing two countries

Player First team Debut M Second team Debut M
Billy Midwinter Australia 1877 8 England 1881 4
Billy Murdoch Australia 1877 18 England 1892 1
Frank Hearne England 1889 2 South Africa 1892 4
JJ Ferris Australia 1887 8 England 1892 1
Sammy Woods Australia 1888 3 England 1896 3
Albert Trott Australia 1895 3 England 1899 2
Frank Mitchell England 1899 2 South Africa 1912 3
Iftikar Ali Khan Pataudi England 1932 3 India 1946 3
Abdul Hafeez Kardar India 1946 3 Pakistan 1952 23
Amir Elahi India 1947 1 Pakistan 1952 5
Gul Mohammad India 1946 8 Pakistan 1956 1
Sammy Guillen West Indies 1951 5 New Zealand 1956 3
John Traicos South Africa 1970 3 Zimbabwe 1983 31
Kepler Wessels Australia 1982 78 South Africa 1991 71
Gavin Hamilton Scotland 1999 50  England 1999 1
Clayton Lambert West Indies 1990 16 USA 2004 1
Dougie Brown England 1997 9 Scotland 2006 18
Anderson Cummins West Indies 1991 63 Canada 2007 13
Dirk Nannes Netherlands 2009 2 Australia 2009 16
Eoin Morgan Ireland 2006 23 England 2009 207
Ed Joyce England 2006 19 Ireland 2011 55
Boyd Rankin Ireland 2007 54 England 2013 10
Luke Ronchi Australia 2008 7 New Zealand 2013 88
Geraint Jones England 2004 85 Papua New Guinea 2014 2
Roelof van der Merwe South Africa 2009 26 Netherlands 2015 5
Ryan Campbell Australia 2002 2 Hong Kong 2016

In the early days, people often moved from Australia to England in search of better job opportunities. South Africa’s Gold Rush invited several men. The first seven transfers — Midwinter, Murdoch, Hearne, Ferris, Woods, Trott, and Mitchell — were all outcomes of professional moves.

Pataudi had scored a hundred on Test debut, but was subsequently snubbed by Englishmen. He later went on to lead India. Kardar, Elahi and Gul Mohammad all played for Pakistan after Partition. Guillen was smitten by the beauty of New Zealand, and did not really want to return to his politically turbulent home in the Caribbean. South Africa’s ban and Zimbabwe’s induction had led Traicos to switch teams. Wessels, on the other hand, had qualified for Australia, but made a move back once South Africa had been cleared.

Some others, like Campbell, found refuge in other cricket nations (qualifying by birth or residence), where they made to the squads easily. Lambert, Brown, Cummins, Nannes, Joyce, Ronchi, Jones and van der Merwe are examples. On the other hand, Hamilton, Rankin and Morgan made the switch the other way round, in order to play Test cricket.

Note:

– Midwinter (Australia-England-Australia) and Rankin (Ireland-England-Ireland) have both made the double-switch.
– Wessels has played 78 matches for Australia and 71 for South Africa. Nobody else has played as many as even 25 matches for both sides he has represented.
– With 230 matches (23 for Ireland, 207 for England), Morgan has the longest career of those on the list. With 5 matches, Trott (Australia: 3, England: 2) and Mitchell (England: 2, South Africa: 3) have the shortest.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)