Top, from left: Kepler Wessels, Clayton Lambert, Billy Murdoch, Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan Bottom, from left: Luke Ronchi, Sammy Woods, Albert Trott, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, JJ Ferris, Amir Elahi @Getty Images
Top, from left: Kepler Wessels, Clayton Lambert, Billy Murdoch, Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan
Bottom, from left: Luke Ronchi, Sammy Woods, Albert Trott, Abdul Hafeez Kardar, JJ Ferris, Amir Elahi @Getty Images

There are some who have moved abroad seeking a change of fortune. Some others had played for another side as they waited for their own to get international status. Whatever it was, cricket has had its share of men who have represented two nations. Without much ado, let us go ahead with an XI:

1. Kepler Wessels (Australia and South Africa)

Had overcoming obstacles in life been a parameter, Wessels would have acquired a Bradmanesque number over a lifetime. However, this is not the space for that and Arunabha Sengupta has done it wonderfully anyway.

Wessels scored 162 on Test debut and 79 on ODI debut, both for Australia; he got two fifties and a hundred in his first 3 Test innings and a fifty in each of his first 4 innings for South Africa. In all he scored over a thousand runs in Tests and ODIs for both Australia and South Africa; led the latter in their early post-Apartheid days; and played way more ODIs (109) than anyone else without a duck. Add to that his incredible First-Class record (almost 25,000 runs at over 50) in three countries. No, you cannot leave him out.

2. Clayton Lambert (West Indies and USA)

Wessels opening partner is a polar opposite in every sense of the word. An extremely hard hitter, Lambert was dropped after 39 and 14 on Test debut. Recalled seven years later, he responded with 55, 29, and 104, but was discarded 2 Tests later. He was treated similarly in ODIs: he was given a single match after he thrashed an English attack with a 124-ball 119.

Six years after that, at 42, he played for USA in the 2004 Champions Trophy. Lambert was not an outstanding batsman, but as we will find out, this list has way more bowlers and all-rounders than batsmen.

3. Billy Murdoch (Australia and England)

Murdoch scored 908 Test runs at 31.31. Before you scoff at these numbers, let me remind that at one point he had more runs than anyone in Test cricket. He scored 153* in 1880, falling 12 short of Charles Bannerman s world record for no fault of his. Four years later he got 211, the first double-hundred in Test cricket. That score remained the world record for 19 years, and a joint record on English soil till Don Bradman showed up in 1930.

Murdoch led Australia on three tours to England, in 1880, 1882, and 1884. He led the averages on all three. He led Australia 16 times in 19 Tests, including the Test that gave birth to The Ashes.

4. Ed Joyce (England and Ireland)

There have been Ireland cricketers with more ODI runs than Joyce, but none of them have got their runs at an average anywhere near his 39.12 at the time of writing this. He can dazzle as well as accumulate runs, as is evident from a First-Class average not too less than the 50-mark. He also led Sussex for a couple of seasons.

5. Eoin Morgan (Ireland and England)

Morgan s switch was the opposite of Joyce s. He started with Ireland before playing for England, and rose to the ranks of England s limited-overs captain. As captain he turned around the national side completely, helping them scale forgotten heights. With bat he remains one of the most feared, thanks to his innovative strokeplay at ridiculous angles. He is also an excellent fielder, and remains a favourite with T20 franchises around the world.

6. Luke Ronchi (Australia and New Zealand) wicketkeeper

What do you do if Adam Gilchrist keeps (literally and figuratively) you out of the side? You wait. What do you do if Brad Haddin shows up after Gilchrist? You move back to your home nation and become their limited-overs wicketkeeper. Mind you, Ronchi batted only twice for Australia in ODIs and smashed 76 from 37 balls.

A more than competent wicketkeeper, Ronchi is enough to play Test cricket as a specialist batsman (he averages just under 40 from 4 Tests), and holds the record for the highest score (170*) by a No. 7 batsman in ODIs.

7. Sammy Woods (Australia and England)

Woods played Rugby Union for England, football for Sussex, and hockey for Somerset. In World War I he rose to the rank of Captain of Labour Corps. In between all that he found time to play 3 Tests for each of Australia (without playing for an Australian state) and England.

A genuinely quick bowler, Woods mixed them up with cunning slower deliveries and bowled an excellent yorker. He topped the 1,000-wicket mark, but was also good enough to score over 15,000 runs. He also led Cambridge and Somerset with panache, and was an excellent fielder.

8. Albert Trott (Australia and England)

Trott (205 runs at 102.50), and not Bradman, still holds the record for the highest Test average for Australia. That average went down during his England tenure, but he remained a major force with ball for Middlesex. Like Woods, Trott did a double as well, though his 10,000 runs and 1,500 wickets indicate that he was a better bowler than Woods but an inferior batsman.

Trott s tales are numerous, and a couple of them worth a recall. In 1899 that he cleared the Lord s pavilion with one of the biggest hits the ground had seen. Eight years later, in his benefit match, he took four wickets in four balls in the second innings against Somerset in 1907; later in the same innings he took another hat-trick. Unfortunately, he robbed himself of gate money in the process, and he would commit suicide from poverty in four years time. He would leave behind his wardrobe and 4.

9. Abdul Hafeez Kardar (India and Pakistan) captain

It will not be an exaggeration to call Kardar, Pakistan s first Test captain, the Father of Pakistan cricket. Kardar led Pakistan in 23 Tests, winning 6 and losing 6 impressive for the captain of a new nation. It was no fluke, for under Kardar Pakistan won Tests against all five nations (barring pre-ban South Africa) including matches in India, England, and West Indies.

Kardar did not have an impressive Test record, but he averaged 30 with bat and 25 with ball. One must remember that he never got to play in the subcontinent for five seasons at his peak, and had to remain content with playing for Oxford and Warwickshire.

Of course, he also leads the side.

10. JJ Ferris (Australia and England)

Had this been a team consisting of one person, I would probably have picked Ferris.

Ferris averaged 12.70 with ball in Test cricket. His 9 Tests fetched him 61 wickets (48 in 8 Tests for Australia). That should seal it, but let us not forget that Ferris got his wickets despite the presence of Charlie Turner at the other end, a man at least as gluttonous when it came to wicket-taking. Ferris also had exceptional stamina: he sent down 144 balls on average per innings.

11. Amir Elahi (India and Pakistan)

Pakistan had lost their first Test by an innings, but one could hardly blame Elahi for that: he took 4 for 134, which would remain the best figures for a Pakistan debutant for eight years. In a long career for several Indian and Pakistani sides, Elahi picked up 513 wickets at under 26 with his mixed bag of seam and leg-break. Remember, he played a chunk of his cricket on the flat tracks of the early 1940s, when run-feasts were a common feature in Indian cricket.

As for the 12th man, who better than Gul Mohammad (India and Pakistan)? Gul Mohammad prowled in the infield, swooped upon them, and threw them back flat and quick all this in an era when fielding in the subcontinent involved little more than waiting an eternity for the ball to arrive.

Squad (in batting order): Kepler Wessels, Clayton Lambert, Billy Murdoch, Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan, Luke Ronchi (wk), Sammy Woods, Albert Trott, Abdul Hafeez Kardar (c), JJ Ferris, Amir Elahi, Gul Mohammad (12th man).