WT20 Qualifier cosmopolitan XI
While Australian-born batsmen turning out for Holland and South African-bred bowlers playing for Scotland are pretty commonplace in cricket these days, the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier on the go in the United Arab Emirates poses a few other cosmopolitan combinations.
While Australian-born batsmen turning out for Holland and South African-bred bowlers playing for Scotland are pretty commonplace in cricket these days, the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier on the go in the United Arab Emirates poses a few other cosmopolitan combinations…
<B>1. Michael Di Venuto (Australia, Italy)</B><BR>A veteran of over 300 first-class games, the 38-year-old played nine ODIs for the Aussies in 1997 and continues to ply his trade in county cricket to this day. In the English winter, though, he has time to turn out for his an Italian team that has enjoyed the services of his brother, Peter, in the past. Tuesday saw the journeyman left-hander orchestrate a match-winning 42 not out against Oman.
"We are hugely excited about Michael joining up with the team," said Italy captain Alessandro Bonora. "The Di Venutos have had a long-standing relationship with Italian cricket, with Michael's brother Peter having played for Italy in the recent past. Just the opportunity to see how a true professional goes about his job will have an immeasurable influence on the guys."
<B>2. Duncan Allan (Australia, Kenya)</B><BR>Australian-born and England-educated, Allan fetched a central contract with Kenya last year after a solid performance at the ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifier. Along with Seren Waters, the 20-year-old Allan is expected to be at the fore of Kenya's bid to lift themselves out of a prolonged slump.
"Duncan will be studying overseas but is at an excellent university with an outstanding cricket programme and national coach Mike Hesson will be liaising with them and their coaches closely to monitor their progress and ensure they are available for key dates when they will be needed for Kenya," said Kenya Cricket chief executive Tom Sears.
13 March 2012 was one such 'key date', with Allan unable to make anything more than 17 at the top of the knock as his adapted country lost to Scotland.
<B>3. Aditya Mishra (India, USA)</B><BR>A decent batsman for Karnataka on India's domestic circuit at the turn of the decade, the right-handed Mishra eventually made his way west, where he has since had a stop-start stay with the Americans.
"It's a great feeling to represent the national side," Mishra told <I>dreamcricket.com</i> a couple of years ago. "I think it's the result of all the effort that I'm putting in and I'm glad that I made it so I'm very happy."
That 'effort' only brought him seven runs in Tuesday's defeat to Uganda.
<B>4. Raza-ur-Rehman (Zimbabwe, Canada)</B><BR>Born in Zimbabwe, bred in Pakistan and currently playing for Canada, cricketers don't come more cosmopolitan than the 26-year-old batsman.
A tidy all-round performance from the Pakistani Under-19 international was not enough to stave off defeat at the hands of his Indian counterparts in 2006 and, five-plus years after the mandatory qualifying period, Tuesday's solitary run at first-drop certainly wasn't enough to turn the tables on the Netherlands.
<B>5. Courtney Kruger (South Africa, Hong Kong)</B><BR>Plenty of South Africans happy to pledge their allegiances elsewhere line the globe, with Kruger the epitome of the diversity.
The recipient of two ODIs for Hong Kong in 2008, when he scored a duck and three in the Asia Cup, the middle-order batsman didn't give up hope. This time around he finds himself up against less formidable opposition, although he only managed two runs against Nepal.
While he probably won't find much rugby on the go in his adapted country, the 24-year-old lists the 1995 and 2007 World Cups, both won by South Africa, as his best sporting memories.
<B>6. Geraint Jones (Papua New Guinea)</B><BR>England's 2005 Ashes winner and eventual outcast as the wicketkeeper merry-go-round toss him aside, Jones largely keeps himself busy at Kent these days.
He does, however, head back to his country of birth when opportunity knocks, as it did for this year's WT20 Qualifier – and might come up against his former team-mates – Kevin Pietersen, etc – if Papua New Guinea secure one of the two berths on offer for the tournament proper later this year.
"I couldn't believe it when Geraint contacted us. He is genuinely excited about coming to play and helping us achieve the dream of a World Cup spot. He has played so many games at the highest level. His talent and experience will be incredibly valuable for us," enthused Papua New Guinea general manager Greg Campbell.
For all his experience at 'the highest level', the right-handed Jones could only fetch a two-ball duck in Tuesday's defeat to Afghanistan.
<B>7. Nigel Jones (New Zealand, Ireland)</B><BR>England representatives Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce and Australian-born Alex Cusack are Ireland's higher profile sophisticates, but lest we forget Jones.
Born in the Land of the Long, White Cloud but boasting enough Irish ties to have him eligible for selection in 2009, the all-rounder continues to play bit-parts in his new nation's plans.
Not picked for Tuesday's clash against Namibia, which the Africans won, all-rounder Jones surely would have been a better choice than Andrew White, who coughed up one expensive over and couldn't orchestrate enough last-gasp runs.
<B>8. Dilan Fernando (Sri Lanka, Italy)</B><BR>No relation to Sri Lanka fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, the medium-pacer's four-wicket haul against Tanzania was at the forefront of Italy's promotion to Division Three of the ICC World Cricket League last year.
Italy have four Aussies, as many South Africans, one or two county graduates and one other Sri Lankan in their current squad, so the Negambo-born Fernando is by no means out of place.
<B>9. Elmore Hutchinson (West Indies, USA) </B><BR>West Indian exiles, of sort, are plentiful in the United States of America and Bermudan ranks. Hutchinson is no different, though his left-arm seam does bring an alternative dynamic to an otherwise one-dimensional Yankee attack.
The Jamaican is not alone in his Windies heritage, with Guyanese wicketkeeper-batsman Gowkaran Roopnarine happy to keep Hutchinson company in the USA ranks.
<B>10. Henry Osinde (Uganda, Canada)</B><BR>Having migrated to Canada in 2001, the Ugandan-born seamer was soon playing against his country of birth in the minnow competitions before making his ODI debut in 2006 and going on to play in two World Cups.
Tuesday brought him a wicketless day at the office, but defeat to the Dutch in Dubai doesn't tarnish his triumphs over North American bureaucracy and general red tape.
"It was very, very hard. Yes, very hard. Words cannot explain what I went through. Hurdles and stumbling blocks were all over the place. But I had prayers from my whole family in Uganda. Thank God I made it. I miss my family in Uganda," he revealed in a 2011 interview.
<B>11. Muhammad Ghous (Pakistan, USA)</B><BR>Leaving Lahore as an 11-year-old, Ghous grew into a promising off-spinner but can't quite crack the USA's first-choice XI on a
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