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Cricketers who played Tests for two different countries

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Test_Cricket_players_two_countriesWith his appearance for Ireland in the Test match against Pakistan at Malahide, beanpole fast bowler Boyd Rankin has become only the 15th man to represent two countries at the Test match level. Rankin’s debut for his native Ireland, who have just played their inaugural Test, comes more than four years after his solitary Test for England at Sydney, during the 2013-14 Ashes. Here is a look back in time at the 14 cricketers to have previously achieved this feat.

Billy Midwinter (Australia and England)

Gloucestershire-born Midwinter immigrated to Australia at the age of nine. He played for Australia in the first Test in 1876-77, and was the first man to take a Test five-wicket haul, with 5/78 in England’s first innings. After one more Test, the all-rounder returned to his birthplace, and played four Tests for England on the 1881-82 Australian tour. A year later, he went back to Australia, for whom he played in another six Tests, the last of which came in the 1886-87 Ashes.  

Billy Murdoch (Australia and England)

Murdoch played 18 Tests for Australia, and was captain in 16 of them. He famously led Australia to victory in the 1882 Oval Test, which led to the birth of the Ashes. A top-order batsman and occasional wicketkeeper, Murdoch scored the first double century in Tests, making 211 at the Oval during the 1884 Ashes. He later settled in England, played for (and captained) Sussex, and turned out for England in one Test on the 1891-92 tour of South Africa.

J.J. Ferris (Australia and England)

John James Ferris, a left-arm swing bowler, had an incredible start to his Test career. He had match figures of 9/103 on debut at Sydney in 1886-87, in a game England won by 13 runs despite scoring 45 in the first innings. He followed it up with 9/140 in the second Test, but again saw Australia lose. In all, he played eight Tests for Australia and, like Murdoch, one for England on the 1891-92 South African tour. His Test wicket tally was 61, at a freakish average of 12.70.

Sammy Woods (Australia and England)

Sydney-born Woods moved to England when he was 16 to complete his education. He developed into a promising fast-bowling all-rounder, and played the first three of his six Tests for Australia in the 1888 Ashes. His next three Tests were played for England, on the 1895-96 South African tour. Cricket was not the only sport Woods excelled at - he made 13 appearances for England in rugby union (five as captain), and also played football and hockey at county level.

Frank Hearne (England and South Africa)

Part of an illustrious cricketing family, Hearne was an all-rounder who bowled fast round-arm. A Kent mainstay in the late 19th century, Hearne played his first two Tests for England in South Africa in 1888-89. For health reasons, he settled in South Africa, whom he represented in four Tests against England, one in 1891-92 and three in 1895-96. The 1891-92 Test at Cape Town saw a unique occurrence, as Hearne was pitted against his two brothers, Alec and George.

Albert Trott (Australia and England)

Trott was another late 19th-century all-rounder who played for both Australia and England. He had a glorious Test debut for the Australians in 1894-95, taking 8/43 in the second innings and scoring 38* and 72* in the third Ashes Test at Adelaide. He played in the next two Tests of the series with impressive returns, but was ignored for the 1896 England tour. He went to England anyway, starred for Middlesex, and played two Tests on England’s 1898-99 tour of South Africa.

Frank Mitchell (England and South Africa)

Yorkshireman Mitchell played his first two Tests for England on the 1898-99 tour of South Africa (it is to be noted that these matches were not classified as Tests then, and were given Test status retrospectively). Soon after, he fought in the Second Boer War in South Africa, and later captained Transvaal in the Currie Cup. He was captain of South Africa in the last three of his five Tests, which were all part of the Triangular Tournament (also involving Australia) in 1912.

Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi (England and India)

By scoring 102 in his first Test, at Adelaide in 1932-33, the senior Nawab of Pataudi became the third Indian prince, after Ranjitsinhji and Duleepsinhji, to record a hundred on Ashes debut. During the series, he famously refused to move to his allotted spot in a typical ‘Bodyline’ leg-side field, leading to friction with his captain, Douglas Jardine. After three Ashes Tests for England, he played three for India 12 years later, captaining the side that toured England in 1946.

Gul Mohammad (India and Pakistan)

A diminutive left-handed batsman, Lahore-born Gul Mohammad first played a Test for the Indians at Lord’s in 1946, and went on to represent them in another seven Tests, including five on the 1947-48 Australian tour. His last Test for India was against Pakistan, who were playing their first Test, at Delhi in 1952-53. He took Pakistani citizenship in 1955, and played one Test for his new country, against Australia at Karachi in 1956-57, in which he hit the winning runs.   

Abdul Kardar (India and Pakistan)

All-rounder Abdul Hafeez Kardar is best known for being Pakistan’s first Test captain. Only the first three of his 26 Tests were for India, on the 1946 England tour. Thereafter, he took charge of Pakistan, following the country’s independence. He led Pakistan to victory in their second Test, at Lucknow in 1952-53, and oversaw maiden wins over England (The Oval, 1954) and Australia (Karachi, 1956-57), as also their first series success, at home against New Zealand in 1955-56.

Amir Elahi (India and Pakistan)

As was the case with Gul Mohammad and Abdul Kardar, leg-spinner Elahi was a Lahore-born cricketer who ended up playing Test cricket for either of the subcontinental rivals. Elahi’s sole Test for India was at Sydney in 1947-48, soon after which he became a Pakistani citizen. He took part in Pakistan’s inaugural Test in 1952-53 at the age of 44, and went on to play all five Tests in the series.He played first-class cricket until the following season before retiring from the game.

Sammy Guillen (West Indies and New Zealand)

Guillen played five Tests for the West Indies and three for New Zealand. Born in Port-of-Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, the wicketkeeper played all five Tests on the West Indian tour of Australia in 1951-52. He then took up residence of New Zealand, and appeared for his adopted country against his native country in 1955-56. The final Test of that series, in Auckland, was also Guillen’s last, and he fittingly effected the stumping that gave New Zealand their first Test win.

John Traicos (South Africa and Zimbabwe)

Born in Egypt, off-spinner Traicos, of Greek descent, won his first three Test caps against Australia at home in 1969-70, in what was South Africa’s final series before isolation. As a child, he had moved to Rhodesia, then a domestic side in the South African first-class system. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980, and when Zimbabwe played their first Test, against India at Harare in 1992-93, a 45-year-old Traicos took 5/86. He played three more Tests that season.

Kepler Wessels (Australia and South Africa)

Wessels, a top-order southpaw, moved from his native South Africa to Australia in the 1970s, after being drafted for World Series Cricket. He stayed there, and struck 162 in his first Test, at Brisbane in the 1982-83 Ashes. He played 24 Tests for Australia, the last of which was in 1985-86. After re-settling in South Africa, Wessels captained the national team in their first Test upon readmission, at Bridgetown in 1991-92. He led them in another 15 Tests, before retiring in 1994.

 

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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