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06-05-2010, 22:34   #1
TrueDub
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Why are Irish-born players playing for England or other nations?

This is a topic that comes up on this forum regularly, and so to keep things tidy, we've decided to address it in this thread, and this thread only.

Please note: this is the only place to discuss this topic - any posts on this in other threads will be deleted, and the posters either directed to this thread (if they are polite) or banned from the forum (if not). This is at the moderator's discretion!

The facts are these:

1) Ireland is an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and is eligible to play Twenty20 cricket (T20) and One-Day International cricket (ODIs). This status is conferred on Ireland because of their performances in qualifying tournaments.

2) Ireland is not a full member of the ICC. Only 10 countries are: Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the West Indies. Only these countries are eligible to play test cricket. Therefore, Ireland does not play test cricket, considered by many to be the pinnacle of the game.

3) In recent times, two Irish players declared for England, Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan. Both are professional players, plying their trade in the English County Championship.

4) They have done this because this will allow them, if selected, to play test cricket for England, something they cannot do for Ireland. They have also done it because the rewards for playing for England are higher than those available for playing for Ireland, as England play many more matches and have a better remuneration scheme.

5) Under the current system, other players from Ireland may choose to declare for England, for the exact same reasons. The players most often mentioned in this area are Boyd Rankin and George Dockrell.

That is the reasoning behind the decision to declare for England. Many people can understand this, because if you think you're capable of playing at the highest level, and you get the opportunity to try to do so, you should take it. Others feel that you should stick to the country of your birth, no matter what.

Discuss - but keep it civil. If you have a point to make, make it constructively. Any sort of abuse is not acceptable, and tribal or jingoistic nonsense will be deleted on sight. This thread will be heavily policed - you have been warned!!
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06-05-2010, 23:17   #2
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Not much more to add Truedub, but I'll give it a go!

I think it needs to be accepted that there are limited opportunties for cricketers to play at the highest level. There are numerous examples of Scots and Welsh playing for and even captaining "England" (Mike Denness and Tony Lewis being the obvious examples) and many more of players moving from other Test playing nations to play for England, either because this was their only way to play at the highest level, or because they felt an affinity to England, perhaps because of parentage (Michael Lumb being an example, born in SA because his father moved there after a long career at Yorkshire).

In the case of Morgan (and Joyce) their only opportunity to play at the highest level was to move to and qualify for a Test-playing nation, and England was the obvious place where they could move to gain qualification, and take-up full-time cricket at county level.

It's interesting to note it happens in other sports - the one main comparison is Rugby Union, where NZ have used a number of players born on South Pacific islands, and a number of Southern Hemisphere players have moved to Northern Hemisphere countries and switched alligience. Even in football there are plenty of examples, with Brazilians unable to get into their own national team opting for other countries (even in one case taking up Croatian nationality)

Bottom line is these guys are entitled to make a living, and if they have the talent why limit their opportunities to shine at the highest level?
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06-05-2010, 23:40   #3
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You've summed it up perfectly TrueDub. No cricket fan would begrudge Eoin or Ed (or any of the rest) a chance to play the highest level of cricket.

I do feel that the ICC should make it easier for Irish players to return to play for Ireland if its clear that their bid to play for England hasnt worked out. Some form of exception for players looking to return to their Associate nation. Ed Joyce should be back with us now for instance.
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07-05-2010, 12:23   #4
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I think its a huge ball drop on the part of the ICC and a giant **** you from the ECB.

The ECB seems dependant on foreign imports to supply the spark in the team. I'm not sure why that is, but its probably worth noting that there seems to be a spark of flair to some of these players, when compared to the English ones.

Compare Morgan and Kevin "Plastic lion" Pietersen, to the likes of Cook or Wright. Maybe its the Atherton-esque propensity towards "proper cricket" being front foot strokes and stock balls abound. Maybe I'm on a hyperbolic tangent.

The treatment of Joyce underlines the ECB's cynical approach to this rule, its indicative of a belief that all cricket is there to service the Full Members which seems at odds with the public face of developing the game.

Which brings me to the ICC.
They are screwing it up massively. Its hard to believe that they are taking expansion in anyway seriously when they are allowing the open exploitation of our resources at national level. I mean who is seriously not concerned at the Boyd Rankin situation? I know that in two innings George Dockerill gained some serious attention from the Commentators, Andy Flower would have seen this and England have proven themselves big fans of throwing a young spinner in for a game or two to see if they are any good.

The fact that ICC have in place a rule where either of these players can join England in a few weeks but must wait 4 years to play for Ireland indicates that they don't value the affiliates and associates at all.

I truly believe that this should be dropped or modified. The rule punishes the lower grades unfairly, more so considering that batsmen with the kind of experience that Ed Joyce has picked up would be invaluable in nets as much as on the pitch.

One thing is for sure, as long as the rule is there, England will have no remorse about decimating our team.
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07-05-2010, 13:35   #5
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The fact that ICC have in place a rule where either of these players can join England in a few weeks but must wait 4 years to play for Ireland indicates that they don't value the affiliates and associates at all.
This isn't actually the case - the qualification to play for England is the same as to play for Ireland. In both cases a player not born in that country must serve a four-year residency period in the other country. Hence both Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan served this residency period in England, as did Petersen, Kieswetter etc.

So England can't simply call up George Dockrell next week - he has to do the residency period. Boyd Rankin is slightly different, as far as I know, as he's a UK citizen and so can represent England whenever called up.

The rule on Ed Joyce returning is that he can play for Ireland again 4 years after last representing England. The ICC may, hopefully, waive a couple of weeks of this to allow Ed play for Ireland in WC2011 in India - but they may not, and if England pick him in the meantime, it's all academic as the clock restarts.
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07-05-2010, 13:39   #6
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A pretty concise assessment of the prevailing situation, True Dub!

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I
The fact that ICC have in place a rule where either of these players can join England in a few weeks but must wait 4 years to play for Ireland indicates that they don't value the affiliates and associates at all.
The crux of declaring for a full-member country is the ability to play tests and land an annual contract. Perhaps the 4 year switch-back rule could be amended to place this limitation only to restrict the purpose of the original switch - namely playing test cricket. There could be a cool-off period of lesser duration for other forms of cricket in addition to a NOC from the full-member, provided the switch-back is to the native country.

Not sure if this makes sense, but my two-cents worth
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07-05-2010, 13:51   #7
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Boyd Rankin is slightly different, as far as I know, as he's a UK citizen and so can represent England whenever called up.
I think the UK citizen rule applies across a number of sports, and players can opt to play for any of the 4 "home nations". Some football players with UK passports but born outside the UK have been able to do this.

Interestingly, though, other sports do tend to prevent players who have played for one country then opting to play for another (in football the current rule applies to restrict those who have played competitively at international level then opting for another country).

However I think the difference with cricket is the fact that only a small number of countries play Tests, and it would be seen to be unfair for someone perhaps establishing themselves for one country in the one day game then being prevented from furthering their career at Test level with another country.
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07-05-2010, 13:53   #8
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and if England pick him in the meantime, it's all academic as the clock restarts.
But he could then declare himself unavailable to England if he wanted to return to the Irish team
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07-05-2010, 14:09   #9
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But he could then declare himself unavailable to England if he wanted to return to the Irish team
True, but this brings us back to the start of the argument - if he's picked again for England, it means he's back in contention for greater rewards, and potentially a place in the test team, which are the exact reasons he declared for England in the first place. So why would he declare himself unavailable to England?

Sadly for Ed Joyce, I don't see this happening,especially as he's sidelined until the end of May after a hip operation. This could in the long term be good for Ireland though.
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07-05-2010, 14:23   #10
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Sadly for Ed Joyce, I don't see this happening,especially as he's sidelined until the end of May after a hip operation. This could in the long term be good for Ireland though.
Is that what that was.

Cheers for the correction.
But I'm confused, how come Nannes could play for Holland and then switch to Aussie.
I understand he lived in Aussie, but how did he qualify for Holland?
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07-05-2010, 14:41   #11
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Is that what that was.

Cheers for the correction.
But I'm confused, how come Nannes could play for Holland and then switch to Aussie.
I understand he lived in Aussie, but how did he qualify for Holland?
I admit I don't know the facts here, but I'm guessing this: he was born in Oz, served his residency for Holland, then was eligible to be called up for Oz due to citizenship.

The above could be complete horsesh*t, of course.
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07-05-2010, 17:34   #12
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Wiki says his folks are Dutch.
Which may explain it, I'm not sure.
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10-05-2010, 16:25   #13
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For me the solution is to seperate test and ODI cricket at international level. A player like Eoin Morgan would be free to make himself available for test selection for England, but can still remain in the Ireland ODI team so long as he doesnt declare himself available for Englands ODI squad. Im not sure how many players would go for this, given that Morgan in particular is putting himself in contention for a place in the England test squad on the basis of his ODI performances more than his CC form, but it would be an option.

As for whether they are right to make the switch; as someone who is born in Ireland and has spent my entire life playing cricket, if I had the choice between walking out on the opening morning of an Ashes boxing day test to 100,000 people at the MCG, or contining to play Intercontinental Cup against the likes of Canada and UAE in front of tiny crowds, I know which one Id choose... Its wrong that the ICC puts players in this position to choose, and as a lifelong Irish cricketer I would give everything I own for the honour of representing my country in even one game, doesnt matter who it would be against, but at the end of the day the lure of that big occasion would be far too strong.
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10-05-2010, 17:50   #14
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The problem with that idea Djimi is that more and more teams are using the ODI team to test out players before bringing them into the test side. So players would still choose the test teams over the associates
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10-05-2010, 19:17   #15
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Agree with that TheDrog - the Test playing nations would not allow this - there is no way England would want Morgan return to Ireland (even if there was a way to do it without the residence qualification) to play ODIs. In addition, I am sure Morgan would think he would get a much better deal (both financially and in terms of career progression) sticking with England (he is not even in the Test team (yet!))
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