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Jrod: Mercenaries spell end of national pride

August 18th, 2008 by JRod in County cricket, England, International, Test cricket and tagged , , , , ,

The instructions for all cricketers at academies in South Africa, India and Australia could soon be “CHECK YOUR FAMILY TREE OR EMIGRATE”.

Because in the future it will be get harder and harder to play for the countries with depth but for those without depth, they will be happy to take whatever they can get.

New Zealand recently played an allrounder who chased a Test cap across the globe.

England play anyone who can spell “Queen”, no matter what the accent.

And now West Indies are preparing to play a Queenslander with a father who once swum for Jamaica. Brendan Nash is his name.

(I don’t like Nash, nothing to do with his mercenary dash to the Windies to grab a Test cap, but because he once pissed off Victoria in a final.)

With the IPL coming onto the scene and guys like Pattinson, KP, Grant someone, and Ambrose willing to play for anyone who asks them, is the concept of Nation-v-Nation cricket endangered?

Some players refuse to play for any country that doesn’t feel like home – see Andrew Symonds. Luke Ronchi is qualified to play for New Zealand but before anyone knew his name he ruled that option out.

But how many other young Australians, or Kolpak South Africans will feel that loyal?

In the second division of county cricket, where you have to play spot the Pom, a lot of the South Africans will one day be available to play for England.

What happens when the Indians catch onto this? They have depth in bucket loads and after a few years in a country like Bangladesh, they can get automatic Test caps. Why bother with years of waiting in India for something that may never come.

And none of this even asks the philosophical questions. Can KP really ever be English? If he wasn’t a cricketer, would he call himself English?

Deep down, does he perform because he loves the stage, or because he loves the country?

Is he as willing to take balls on the body and sacrifice his health for his country – like Justin Langer?

Will Brendan Nash play on an injury that could have long-term physical effects, like Freddy has for England, but for his adopted home?

Should you decide your nationality because of profession?

Cricket will get a lot more test studies to answer these questions.

Posted in County cricket, England, International, Test cricket | 11 Comments »

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