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March 5, 2010
Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, believes South Africa-born players should not be allowed to play for England. Vaughan was critical of the number of players being imported "for many, many years" and said he had "a bit of a problem" with South Africans changing nationalities to further their sporting careers.
"It's a very tricky one. Someone like Kevin Pietersen made the decision very early to come over to England and he learnt a lot of his cricket here," said Vaughan in comments reported in the Independent. "[But] I do have a problem when the likes of Jonathan Trott [play for England], and [Craig] Kieswetter, who's played for the South African Under-19s. I think in Trott's case even played for the South African A team. Now that is where I have a problem, that we have almost got a 'ship-in' system of looking at talent, and a lot of them come over for the money.
"It's very, very difficult to stop them. I would like to see, in an ideal world, 11 complete Englishmen in the team but I don't think that's ever going to be the case."
Kieswetter's rapid promotion to the England one-day side has again thrown the spotlight on the number of South Africans in the set-up and, despite suggestions from national selector Geoff Miller that it is an issue they are watching, he is unlikely to be the last.
"It's something that I'm going to have to put up with for my whole career, but I was born with a British passport, I've done my four years, I am British, and I don't see it as an issue," said Kieswetter after he scored 107 in the final ODI against Bangladesh. "Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but for me it's about putting performances in on the park and helping England win."
In his autobiography, Time to Declare, Vaughan had accused the Cape Town-born Trott of celebrating with South Africa's players after England lost at Edgbaston in 2008.
Ian Botham, however, said he was fine with the number of imports. "These guys have made their home here to play for England and I don't have a problem with that. The biggest problem for me in England is Kolpak, and that's down to European law. What the Europeans have got to do with it, I don't know. They don't like cricket."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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