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Australia act on player drain with 'Robson rule'

Daniel Brettig

August 16, 2013

Comments: 74 | Text size: A | A

Sam Robson made his second consecutive century, Warwickshire v Middlesex, County Championship, Division One, Edgbaston, 1st day, May 8, 2013
Australia-born batsman Sam Robson recently qualified to represent England © Getty Images
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European football had Bosman transfers, English cricket has Kolpak players, and now Australia has passed the Sam Robson rule. At a board meeting on Friday, Cricket Australia approved regulatory changes that will allow dual passport holders to play domestic matches in more than one country.

This has effectively freed Robson from having to choose between New South Wales and Middlesex, allowing him to represent both as England and Australia compete for his international loyalties. The player is not thought to have made any written guarantees to England that he will commit his international future to them.

It was not only Robson who had a new future opened up for him by the changes, as numerous cricketers who had given up their first-class careers in Australia to play as locals in England are once more eligible to play in the Sheffield Shield, limited overs and Big Bash League competitions.

These include the West Australian seam bowler Michael Hogan the NSW batsman Phil Jaques and the Queensland teenager Sam Hain, who joined Warwickshire this year.

"The Board has endorsed changes to the definition of an Overseas Player for Australian domestic competitions," a CA spokesman said. "The changes are designed to allow Australian players who have dual passports to play in more than one domestic competition. CA wants as many quality cricketers playing in its domestic competitions as possible. These changes will allow Australian players with dual passports to play first-class cricket in more than one country.

"A number of Australian-qualified cricketers currently playing in ECB competitions in particular are doing so as a local player, meaning if they play in Australia during the summer they need to do so as an overseas player to retain their ECB eligibility. However, CA's current overseas player definition prevents someone born in Australia, or holding a valid Australian passport, from qualifying to play here as an overseas player.

"Changes approved today will ensure state associations and BBL teams will be able recruit Australian players without them having to give up their eligibility to play overseas as a local player. It will remove the burden on these players to choose which domestic competition to play in."

Robson, whose mother hails from Nottingham, previously could not be chosen for New South Wales as a domestic player because although he was born in Australia he played county cricket on a British passport.

While the changes have greatly enhanced Australia's chances of being able to consider Robson in the future, England may also be able to offer him a chance to play first-class matches during the forthcoming southern summer. An outside chance to be named as a reserve opening batsman in the Ashes squad proper, Robson would be a likely choice for the England Lions squad scheduled to shadow the Test touring party over the course of the series.

Alternatively, Robson may now head home to Sydney at the conclusion of the English summer and turn out first for the Blues' Futures League team, and from there earn selection in the NSW Shield XI for the start of the season. In past seasons he has simply played club cricket while ineligible for first-class duty, but given Australia's current lack of strong batting stock Robson would need only to replicate his consistent scoring for Middlesex to quickly enter international contention.

England's national team has benefitted considerably from the lure of their professional circuit, particularly to South African players who have gone on to qualify for England. The flood of Kolpak players, who are allowed to play county cricket under European Community free labour regulations, has been reduced, however, after a ruling in 2008 enabled the Home Office to introduce a four-year work-permit qualification on players outside the EU.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by 2MikeGattings on (August 19, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

Not quite sure why Robson hasn't already been selected for the Lions, is he not eligible yet?

Posted by   on (August 19, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

Great rule change. Let a guy's loyalties determine where he'll play and not where he might be able to ply a trade as a professional if he turns out to only be a first class player and not a test player.

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (August 17, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding point taken but all three of the cricketers you mentioned did their secondary schooling ie up to the age of 18 years at least in Australia. This means they didn't pick up a cricket bat at 19 when they moved to the UK to learn according to you" all their cricket skills in the UK". They obviously started their cricket careers at school level, may I point out in my opinion the foundation level is the most important, which was in Australia. The finishing school may have been after they made the move to the UK, but the foundation to their cricketing careers was in Australia. This in my opinion was the most important phase. I am sure while in Australia they had their ambition to play for Australia. However given the awesome bench strength of Aussies in the 1990s. Their options to play top flight cricket would have been in their opinion limited. So they made the move to England. This was in the 1990s, didn't make a difference, as England still got well and truly trounced.

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (August 17, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

Robson doesn't have a difficult decision. He either backs his talent or he doesn't. If he thinks playing for Australia is easier and so he will choose them, then he has the wrong attitude and we don't want him. It would show he has no faith in his own talent and his mentality is that of a post 2007 Australian. Not to mention the ECB should immediately classify him as an overseas player and force Middlesex to choose if they want to keep him or not.

Posted by markatnotts on (August 17, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

Check your facts, Paul Mcallister. Compton, Dernbach and Meaker are all products of the English system coming to live here as children. Regarding the Irish players, they have to all intents and purposes products of the county system. Oh and look at the scorecards for the 2010 world T20. England won on the back of a bowling attack limiting the opposition to small totals.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

Barry, the difference being is that Symonds (and Khawaja), is that they both arrived in Australia in nappies. They were schooled in Australia, and are as Baggy Green proud as any player in those respective teams. But can you say the same about any of the 9 Proteas who have represented England since 1994? or the 3 Irishmen? I will concede you Straussy & Prior as they were at least brought up in England. & Boyd Rankin as he is Northern Irish (although I wish he could have hung around to hopefully one day see Ireland become full ICC members). But Eion Morgan and Ed Joyce? come on? Morgan practically won England the 2010 World 20/20 cup single handily after "defecting" to the England team (that should never have been allowed). & Ed Joyce really should have played for Ireland during his best years. But what of KP, Trott, Lumb, Kieswetter, Durnbach, Meaker & Compton? yes I know some of them might have British heritage (but then at least 50% of the Oz, NZ and SA teams have anyway). So what?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 17, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

@RohanMarkJay, Just to correct you on a few points, Dmitri Mascarhenas was born in Chiswick, London, Craig White was born in Morley, West Yorkshire, Allan Mullaly was born in Southend On Sea in Essex.

As far as im aware both Craig and Allan moved to Aus at a young age due to parents relocating, but as far as im aware Dmitri learnt all his cricket in the uk.

You may have been thinking of the Hollioakes, however they did the reverse of what Criag and Allan's familied did, and moved from Aus to the UK, one was 7/8 the other was 12/13.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (August 17, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

Is Sam Robson that good? I haven't seen him and stats can be misleading at times. His stats look decent but not outstanding. I'd have to see him in Australian conditions in the Australian domestic sides before I could say for sure that he warrants a test call up. Average of 41 is good but not necessarily good enough for tests.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

markatnotts, I have to agree with you. Does that mean this rule wasn't in place when Andrew Symonds was selected for Australia? Born in Birmingham, several years in county cricket and all of a sudden was picked for Australia when there was talk in the media about whether he should be picked for England's ODI squad.

Also with the Irishmen, that's a different situation as they're from a nation that doesn't play Test matches and in case Paul McAllister hasn't noticed, you can't really say we poached Joyce if he's gone back to playing for Ireland.

Posted by whatawicket on (August 17, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

what makes a parent decide that their son or daughter needs to be duel passport holders. are they looking at what may happen at a later date re a separation etc, were one has to come back to the birth place of the parent. surely nothing to do with sport. why of all the cricketing nations. i would say upwards of 90% are coming back to England the mother country. England of all the countries i would say have a more open policy, not only with the commonwealth, but with most of the world so it stands to make more sense that we take more refuges, expats or people just wanting to make a better life for themselves. would monty panesar want to go to and play in India or adil rashid to Pakistan. both born in England but from asian parentage. with our county cricket been the largest, and although maybe some may not think it the best, as i feel it prepares young players better. with most overseas retired test player saying this has done more to aid their game.

Posted by markatnotts on (August 17, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

So Paul Mcallister given that several of the people you list claim England have poached came to England as young children, given their current ages (Strauss has even retired), how on earth they were "stolen" post 2004. I bet you would also contradict yourself and claim Usman Khawaja is genuinely Australian. Regarding Robson, I think the ECB have a right to know if he is going to represent Australia so Middlesex don't get subsidy for him being classed as an English under 25 player.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

The ICC should change their rules so that at the start of his career every player has to choose the Test team he will play for if selected. These dual-passport people have an unfair advantage over other players who can't pick and choose. And I'm sure that Middlesex supporters would have liked to know from the outset whether their club was preparing Robson for a possible Test career playing for England or Australia.

Posted by whatawicket on (August 17, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

purely on financial gain i would have thought England would be his way to go. but if he fancied been in a test side then the Aussies should be his selection. i have never seen this guy so have no idea how good he is, maybe his early season form was just a flash in the pan as his runs, look to have dried up. if he looks at the Aussie lineup he must think as soon as he says he will play for the country of birth rather than his mother he will be selected because they need class batting asap.

Posted by vj_gooner on (August 17, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Robson seems to be more of an Englishman rather than an Aussie.

I have been a lifelong Oz fan but I really condemn this move by CA. They are trying to lure a player whose heart seems to full of England.

Let go of him CA. We shall develop our own talents!

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

but Daniel, he is Australian! okay he has an English mother. but then so do James Pattinson and Ryan Harris and probably half of all Australians who have played for their country. Surely he must feel more Australian than English. England need to move away from this policy of cherry picking the best foreign talent playing in the county game. Since 2004 they have successfully poached:

Strauss, Pietersen, Prior, Trott, Lumb, Kieswetter, Durnbach, Meaker and Compton from South Africa.

Joyce, Morgan and Rankin for Ireland.

now not only are they weakening these teams, particular associate member Ireland who will never be able to reach full member status with England hovering around them. but they are distorting the balance of power in World Cricket by their actions. Sure England may have reached number 1 in the World Test Cricket but any table should have an asterisk next to England's name to denote the fact that half it's team is made up of foreigners poached from other nations.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

@Ken, Its not hard to see why he left as he was behind a lot of good top order players, that said, there is nothing to say a bloke can't improve and Robson is having a big time of it in England right now, while at the same time NSW is looking very thin on top order bats, as are several other states. I think one or two state teams would be more than happy to take him on.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (August 17, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

@ Paul Mcallister - no one is stealing anyone from anywhere. It's all the player's choice where he wants to earn a living. Am sure any promising young actor would prefer going to Hollywood as opposed to Bollywood!

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

Put simply, Sam Robson has not been selected for NSW in earlier years because he wasn't good enough - not because of qualification rules which have only been an issue since he went over there. robson isn't as good as those who kept him out of the NSW squad - yes, Hughes, Katich, Clarke, Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Smith, Maddinson, Jaques and others going back a few years. Warner plays with the same Sydney club Easts and I can tell you who is a million times better and it ain't Robson.......

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

I wonder if SA has a similar rule? Imagine putting Trott and KP back into their squad, they would be unbeatable.

As others have noted this is not just about Robson, but the like of young Sam Hain too and having guys like Hogan and Jaques playing Shield cricket can only strengthen the competition. Certainly Robson, if he coud put together some strong shield performances would not be far off a baggy green, he is after all toping the rungetters list in Div 1 of the county comp for this season.

Anyway, if it even stops 1 of our youngsters defecting to another country it is a good rule to have in place. Might slow the poms up a bit too!

Posted by lillee4PM on (August 17, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

These changes were well overdue; don't know what took CA so long to do it.

Posted by DylanBrah on (August 17, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

I think if you have represented a country at u19 level you should be locked with them for life.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

No-one wants to play in Australia anyway. The level simply isn't good enough to prepare you for international cricket.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

at last! am sick of England cherry picking the best Australian talent from the county circuit game. the lad is a fair-dinkum Aussie. just like Ryan Harris, James Pattinson and Phil Jacques. All Australian players who England has tried to poach in recent years. it's bad enough England stealing the most talented South African and Irish players over the years. cut it out England!

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 2:07 GMT)

I understand why Robson would want to play for England at the moment that's for sure... I think Australias best chance is to have him walk out to open the batting with his Middlsex captain in Brisbane

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 2:01 GMT)

Hopefully that means Jaques can come back too... Australia need his fight at number 3...

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (August 17, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

Reminds me of the 1990s. When a whole load of talented Aussie cricketers with English ancestry or born in UK like Sam Robson had no hope of getting into the world champion Australian team back then as the squad was already established. So many left Australia to try their luck in England in the hope that they would play international cricket after a number of years for qualification for England. There were many examples Dmitri Mascarhenas, Alan Mulally, Craig White to name a few I am sure there were loads more. Despite this England still got walloped well and truly by the world champion Aussie side of the 1990s. So the player drain was no loss to Australia. However in 2013 things are different, Australia doesn't have the world beating side that constantly trounced England. They cannot afford to lose talented cricketers, they must make sure unlike the 1990s they don't lose talented cricketers and that they are given an attractive package to stay in Australia with a good chance to play.

Posted by Dashgar on (August 17, 2013, 0:50 GMT)

Good move by Australia. We have to move with the times. Sheffield shield cricket is no longer lucrative enough to be snobbish about these sorts of things and players need to be allowed to pursue career opportunities wherever they can. It will more likely lead to more players being eligible for Australian duty rather than the other way round. And the ones we lose won't be stars like Robson, more likely journeymen like Darren Pattinson.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 17, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

@Adrian Hanson on (August 16, 2013, 13:27 GMT), really? You seriously think that Usman Khawaja should only be allowed to play international cricket for Pakistan?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 17, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

@avinashpawan on (August 16, 2013, 14:34 GMT), while I can see your point, this rule actually will at least partly address the level of competition in the Sheffield Shield. As the story says, there are more players than just Robson affected. If those players choose to come home and play domestic cricket during the Australian summer then that will indeed enhance the Sheffield Shield. It's a win even if Robson doesn't play for Australia although, if he ends up playing for England, he won't be one of those playing domestic cricket in Australia as a local player.

Posted by   on (August 17, 2013, 0:09 GMT)

Australia are desperate to keep its talent from heading overseas.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 16, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

Maybe he should play in the ODI against Ireland.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

@ avinashpawan ....

Couldn't agree with you more!!! The Australian Selectors are the epitome of incompetence ..... of which I have commented frequently.

Sheffield Shield performances should determine Aust / Aust A selection. Qld have been in the last two Sheffield Shield Finals being the champs in 2011-12. Queensland are the current 20-20 Champs and current Domestic OD Champs (winning 3 of the past 7-years).

Last year Queensland (without Harris) defeated a full strength NSW Team, that included Clarke Warner Watson Maddinson O'Keefe Starc Hazlewood Copeland and Bollinger, by 6-wickets.

Not one Qlder player on the Aust A Tour, not one Qlder in the Aust OD Team.

The performance of Rogers on the Ashes Tour makes me think, 'How many other Australian cricket players have been overlooked in the past 3-years simply because they do not play for NSW?'

Don't worry, after England and South Africa, we will go back to playing the easy-beats and tell ourselves that we are champions again.

Posted by nursery_ender on (August 16, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Quote "surely it is better to play for your country of birth right? "

Quote "There should be a ruling that you play only for the country of your birth"

This sort of comment can only be made by someone who was born in, and has always lived in, the same country as his or her parents. I have a triple qualification for Wales, Scotland and England via parents from two moving to the third before I was born. I have always identified with all three and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Then there are those who left their birthplace at a very young age. Would you really call John McEnroe German or Colin Cowdrey Indian?

In any case international representative sports teams were initially based as much on residence as birthplace and nationality.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 18:56 GMT)

You can't limit players to playing for their country of birth. There are plenty of cricketers out there who've grown up in countries other than their birth; should Steve O'Keefe only be allowed to play for Malaysia? Personally, I'd say that the decision should be made on first becoming professional, when cynical decisions are slightly less likely.

Posted by fiffer on (August 16, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

Only play for the country of your birth? So that would mean Colin Cowdrey should have played for India and Ted Dexter for Italy. And Andrew Strauss who came to England aged 6 and was at school at Radley should have played for S Africa. There's a long list. Nice sentiment Adrian Hanson but doesn't really work does it?

Posted by SDHM on (August 16, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

@Adrian Hanson - I was born in New Zealand. I lived there for three years. I am now 25, the other 22 years being spent in the UK. Are you trying to tell me I shouldn't be allowed to represent England at anything?

Posted by Scrop on (August 16, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

If the rules are relaxed mainly for him then I feel/sense Australian cricket is in real danger or sorry state.

With all due respect to Sam and his skills, his stats suggest him to be an ordinary player or nothing extra ordinary with an FC average of just 41.63 with 8 centuries.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (August 16, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

A lot of people are talking about the country of birth. This is a completely stupid concept. Nasser Hussain was born in Madras, but he was not an Indian. Ted Dexter was born in Milan: should he have turned out for Italy? For that matter I was born in Subiaco & spent my early years in Western Australia, but I am completely English, feel English, and have no sense of being Australian at all. I can see a point about discouraging mercenary mentalities, in which players flit around. I understand the unease about the numbers of Antipodeans and South Africans in the English set up over the last decade. And the rapid 'Australianisation' of Fawad Ahmed seems slightly dodgy. But if players make a career and a life in a country why should they not represent it? Education, residence, &c are all vastly more significant than place of birth, which is after all completely beyond the individual's control.

Posted by Trickstar on (August 16, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

@Ralphy145 Wrong, Robson hasn't been more consistent for longer than Joe Root and has shown no more against the new ball than Root at all, in fact until this year the opposite. Robson averages 41 in 54 First class games with 8 tons, Root averages 45 from 50 first class games with 9 tons. So from the evidence we've got what you say is in fact completely wrong.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

@Adrian Hanson - England without Cowdray or Dexter? Absurd! I see no reason why the children of parents who happen to be working abroad should not automatically qualify for their mother country. And what about decent cricketers born in non-test playing countries? Should they really be denied the chance to play at the top level?

Posted by Fenny_Essex_Boi on (August 16, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

Its simple, England should pick him for this winters Ashes to see where he wants to play.

Posted by avinashpawan on (August 16, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

Rather than changing rules to hide lack of performance by Australian side, CA should focus on reasons which led to this type of performance. The problem lies mainly in the decreasing level of competition in sheffield shied. Everyone wants a piece of BBL. So the real colour of Test cricket temperament is fading. If CA should make any rule that should be Test Selection only on basis of sheffield shield and 'A' matches performances.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

It would also mean that Darren Pattinson could come back to Nottinghamshire, which must be a good thing

Posted by Nickoshot on (August 16, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

Robson looks like a good player but Australia have players with similar first class averages who are yet to prove themselves at International level. Players who have played first class cricket in their home country something Robson has never done. Picking him now would be another search for a saviour.

If Robson does wish to play for England and with the way the Aus selectors are treating their young players who can blame him. Root could drop down as he has had success in the middle order as I doubt KP will play past the next ashes or their is a long term position at 3 when Trott retires.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

I remember Sam when I coached him in his early U-17 days and I thought he was an average hockey player but this kid was pretty handy at cricket and it's great to see him take big steps in his career. You can't really blame him if he chooses to play for England, he was largely ignored in Sydney grade cricket where the preference for the short form players has been evident. If he's got the same drive as he did back in his U-17 days I am sure he will do well.

Posted by Ralphy145 on (August 16, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

Get him in the England Side. More consistant than Joe Root over a lot longer period of time and also better against the new ball... Robson to open the Innings and bat Root at 5.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

I don't see what the problem is . There should be a ruling that you play only for the country of your birth .

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

he's a real fine.I wish that he could play for australia

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

To all those saying Sam could get an IPL or BBL contract, take a look at his shorter format stats. He doesn't even get into the Middlesex t20 side, he is purely a FC cricketer. One of the reasons he came to England in the first place was the 16 first class games a season, as opposed to the 10 in Australia.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 16, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

@Milhouse79, well put.

@DylanBrah, Robson doesnt play T20, looking at his career hes played a sum total of 4 T20 games, scored 53 runs, and that was 2 years ago, since then hes focused on the 4 day game and occasional list A.

@HughL, true except that if he declares for Australia he effectively negates being able to use his UK passport. He will have to think about the decision long and hard.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

Although he insists he wants to play for England, I'm sure if the Australian selectors offered him the chance to play in the Baggy Green, he'd take it. He'd be down the pecking order with England, but would be close to selection with Australia I'd say.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 16, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

This may or may not have been prompted directly by Australia's current Test batting woes but it seems like a sensible move to me. It seems that, while Australian international cricketers are better off than their English counterparts, domestic cricket is a more attractive proposition in England. Australia was really shooting themselves in the foot by forcing some good Australian players to choose not to play in Australia. From England's perspective, it does make the players seem less like locals and therefore perhaps not quite so deserving of being considered local players but I don't see the rules changing there. As for Robson, it's nice for him to still have the chance to play for Australia and in Australia. He may or may not have got the opportunity to play for England. If Root comes good as an opener, you'd think not, at least for the next 5-7 years. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

This is an unimportant sideshow. It means little in the big scheme of things. While a good young player, he would never have been picked for England. Australia can have him if they want. However, considering their hurtful loss at Durham, it's their non-existent middle order that needs shoring up, not the opening slots.

Posted by HughL on (August 16, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

Seems like a sensible thing to do. Dual nationality can be an advantage but its just his good fortune. He'll need to commit one way or another eventually but in the meantime he should be able to play in both countries as he has a parent from both

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

I've seen Robson play quite a bit and whilst a handy player he's not good enough for top grade test cricket. Would do ok for the Aussies though.

Posted by DylanBrah on (August 16, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

Robson is a long way down the pecking order in England I would think, but would literally walk into the Australian top order. CA know this, and will now do everything they can to entice him into wearing a baggy green... then comes the national contract, endorsement opportunities, almost certainly a BBL contract, possibly IPL too. Robson would be a silly man to refuse the offer. Great move CA.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (August 16, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Has anyone given Kepler a phone call? He looks leaner and fitter every day. Provided he's not on a saga holiday I reckon he would do better than any of the present lot and the kid in this article.

Posted by shane-oh on (August 16, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

@PrasPunter - my thoughts exactly. Changing the law to allow an asylum seeker - now there's a massive irony!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (August 16, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

Hes a free agent, but declaring for Australia could see him unable to play in the UK as even though he has dual passports he would have to be classed as an overseas player.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (August 16, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

@SDH12, The kid left because he couldn't get a game with NSW. Would be interesting to see how he goes here now.

Posted by Matt. on (August 16, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

The only thing which might convince him to play for Australia is he would have a near 100% chance of walking into the top order. He would have a tougher time breaking into England and no. 6 would probably be the only spot available

Posted by Charlie101 on (August 16, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

For Robson the choice may be easy - he may not get a chance to play for England for a number of years but he may walk straight into the Aussie team if he has a good SS season and also get an IPL contract

Posted by SDHM on (August 16, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Anyway, think it's a bit of a knee-jerk reaction in a last ditch attempt to lure Robson back, but may well end up working out well; the likes of Allenby, Hogan and Jaques would strengthen the Shield. Doesn't change the fact though that the main reason Robson left - the 2 months of so of BBL in the middle of the Aussie summer - hasn't changed. Why would he go back if he's still facing the same issues he had when he left?

Posted by Nickoshot on (August 16, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

The rule changes makes sense, any player wishing to make first class cricket a priority needs to be helped.

It will be interesting to see how Robson gets on in state cricket, A first class average of 42 is the similar to Khawaja, Smith and Hughes. Will he find the step up to international level easier, will he be given time to find his feet?

Getting young players comfortable at test level is not easy look at Root and Bairstow

Posted by willsrustynuts on (August 16, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Wow, Australians letting anyone into their country, even Australians!!

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

In Australian domestic cricket particularly first class and List-A an International player would gather more interest in those competitions. Due to the fact those competitions are on the decline.

Posted by SDHM on (August 16, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Speaking to a couple of guys I know who have spent a lot of time covering Middlesex this year, they've said he's pretty much made up his mind on England. Certainly not gospel by any means, but I'd be highly surprised if he wasn't in Australia with England in some form this winter; most likely with the Performance Squad and the Lions.

Posted by Matt. on (August 16, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

This makes sense regardless of whether they can get Robson. Why limit cricketers with Australian passports from playing in the Sheffield Shield? It's like they were being punished for getting valuable experience abroad

Posted by PrasPunter on (August 16, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

First the Fawad Rule, now the Robson Rule - clearly shows the lack of depth within our ranks !! Where is our cricket heading towards ?? !!

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (August 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Well, well, well. Thank makes Phil Jaques situation interesting. When he moved to England he said he wasn't going to consider a return to Australia. Now the door is wide open for him.

Also let's not forget Darren Pattinson.

Posted by PFEL on (August 16, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Well this could be interesting. In the case of Robson specifically it may be too little too late from the Aus board but better than nothing.

Posted by   on (August 16, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Smart move by CA, it may have come too late, but better late than never!

Comments have now been closed for this article

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Country Fixtures Country Results
2nd unofficial Test: Australia A v India A at Brisbane - Jul 13-16
Australia A 423 India A 165/3
Australia A v India A at Darwin
Jul 20, 2014 (10:00 local | 00:30 GMT | 20:30 EDT | 19:30 CDT | 17:30 PDT)
NPS v Sth Africa A at Palmerston
Jul 20, 2014 (10:00 local | 00:30 GMT | 20:30 EDT | 19:30 CDT | 17:30 PDT)
Australia A v NPS at Darwin
Jul 22, 2014 (10:00 local | 00:30 GMT | 20:30 EDT | 19:30 CDT | 17:30 PDT)
Australia A v Sth Africa A at Palmerston
Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 local | 00:30 GMT | 20:30 EDT | 19:30 CDT | 17:30 PDT)
NPS v India A at Darwin
Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 local | 00:30 GMT | 20:30 EDT | 19:30 CDT | 17:30 PDT)
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