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Craig Kieswetter

'Our orders were to go down blazing'

At the age of 22, and in barely three months as an England-qualified international, Craig Kieswetter has achieved a feat that eludes most cricketers in a lifetime

Andrew Miller

May 19, 2010

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

Craig Kieswetter hit some crunching shots off the front foot after the early loss of Michael Lumb, England v Australia, ICC World Twenty20 final, Barbados, May 16, 2010
'We were trying to hit every ball for six': England's tactics in the final were uncomplicated © AFP
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Players/Officials: Craig Kieswetter
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: England

At the age of 22, and in barely three months as an England-qualified international, Craig Kieswetter has achieved a feat that eludes most cricketers in a lifetime. On Tuesday he returned to the County Ground in Taunton to a hero's welcome, with a World Cup-winner's medal in his pocket, and a Man of the Match trophy that will serve as a lasting memento of an incredible day in Barbados, in which his 63 from 49 balls guided England to a crushing seven-wicket over Australia in the final of the ICC World Twenty20.

"I'm trying to keep my feet on the ground but my head's still in the clouds," Kieswetter told Cricinfo. "I'm really buzzing about what we've done and I'm just trying to enjoy it. The reception I've received has been fantastic and pleasing, but I could never have imagined I'd be in this position so quickly. It's been a whirlwind, a rollercoaster with lots of emotional factors, but most of them have been really positive. I'm just really excited at the moment."

In terms of overs contested, Kieswetter's international career to date barely spans the length of a five-day Test match, but his role in the final alone contained enough thrills and spills to fill an entire mental scrapbook. He capped his tournament tally of 11 sixes with an incredible one-handed pick-up over fine leg off Dirk Nannes, and yet his final shot of the match was, incongruously, no shot at all, as he shouldered arms to a Mitchell Johnson yorker.

Meanwhile, in the field, he pulled off a wonderful leg-side diving catch to remove Brad Haddin and reduce Australia to 8 for 3 after 2.1 overs, but only after an earlier spill, from the third ball of the match, had been scooped up by Graeme Swann at slip, to set in motion an incredible chain of events.

"Knowing us, we like to have a bit of drama in finals, and it was definitely part of the plan for me to palm it up and for Swanny to pull out the big dive," Kieswetter joked. "But that moment really did go to show how much we wanted it, and the way he reacted showed how switched on to the game we were. The rest is obviously history, but it gave us momentum, and after that we hardly looked back."

While Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen were together at the crease, England's eyes were firmly fixed on the finish line. The pair hurtled towards their victory target of 148 in a second-wicket stand of 111 in 68 balls. Rarely have any two England batsmen looked so confident and aggressive in a limited-overs partnership, and though they both fell in consecutive overs late in the innings, the intensity of their onslaught, particularly against the perceived weak link of the Australian attack, Shane Watson, ensured that the title was secured with a full three overs to spare.

"We were just trying to hit every ball for six, I think!" said Kieswetter. "But as much as the adrenalin was pumping, we were very aware tactically of where we wanted to be after six overs, after 10 overs, after 14 overs. We knew exactly where we were, and we knew there was a bit of an open door with Watson coming on to bowl, so we decided to attack him, and then we decided to attack everyone and finish the game as quickly as possible."

Kieswetter's only real regret came in the manner of his dismissal, with 27 still needed from 36 balls, as he gave himself too much room outside leg, and looked on helplessly as Johnson splattered his stumps. "I couldn't reach the ball in the end, and I was really disappointed," he said. "I really wanted to carry my bat and get a not-out, but fate's fate, and unfortunately for me I wasn't able to do that. Our gameplan all along was not to try not to leave it until the last two or three overs, and luckily for us it worked."

To be an opener in Twenty20 cricket is a high-risk environment. You have to be quite selfless, you have to play for the team, and that means that averages and wickets are superfluous to the team needs

And so was capped an ascent to prominence of jump-jet proportions. As recently as February 15, Kieswetter was not even eligible for England selection, due to his much-discussed South African background, a factor that has been the subject of more controversy than it perhaps merits, seeing as his mother is Scottish and he was educated at Millfields School in Somerset, the county he has represented since he was a teenager.

Nevertheless, only 24 hours after completing his residency qualification, Kieswetter produced a blazing innings of 81 from 66 balls - in partnership with his fellow unknown, Michael Lumb - as the England Lions upstaged the senior side in what had been intended as a low-key Twenty20 warm-up match in Abu Dhabi. The power of his performance set Andy Flower's mind whirring as to the possibilities it opened up, and three days later, Kieswetter had been parachuted into the 50-over squad for the tour of Bangladesh, with the clear intention of testing his mettle ahead of the Caribbean.

"I sensed what was happening, but I was just trying to enjoy the moment of being an international cricketer," said Kieswetter, who wasted no time in settling in with his new team-mates. He announced himself with a boundary-laden 143 against Bangladesh A in Fatullah, and then, in only his third ODI appearance, he became, at 22 years and 97 days, the second-youngest England batsman after David Gower to score a one-day hundred, as England wrapped up a 3-0 win in Chittagong.

However, the manner in which he scored that breakthrough century came as a surprise to those who had assumed that full throttle was the only pace at which he could bat. Having looked a touch frenetic in his first two appearances on a slow and low surface in Dhaka, he decided to allow himself time to build his final innings of the tour, and came up with a performance of unquestionable maturity. His first fifty runs required 80 deliveries, but his hundred arrived from a further 40, and by the time he was bowled for 107, Flower knew that he had unearthed a batsman with a temperament to match his free-flowing technique.

"I just took the view that I had got three games to prove myself, so I decided I was going to have some fun, and luckily for me, in the third game it paid off," said Kieswetter. "It's probably one of the most satisfactory hundreds that I've got, partly for being my first international hundred, but also for the fact it was a knock that no-one expected or knew that I could produce.

"To do that in only my third ODI, in those conditions, it proved to myself I am good enough, that I want to be here, and that I want to be the best I can be," he added. "It was obviously completely different to what Barbados would be like, but it was a performance that I'll always treasure, because it proved to me that I was able to adapt to different situations, and that is what makes an international cricketer."

Craig Kieswetter's hundred came from 120 balls, Bangladesh v England, 3rd ODI, Chittagong, March 5, 2010
Kieswetter's maiden ODI hundred in Bangladesh helped convince he belonged in international cricket, and allowed him to put the team first in the Caribbean © Getty Images

Crucially, that innings also instilled in Kieswetter the confidence he needed to carry out a very definitive gameplan, because once the team touched down in the Caribbean, there would be no leeway for personal ambition. From first ball to last, an avoidance of loitering was one of the key aspects of England's trophy-winning campaign, and with Lumb now installed alongside his former Lions team-mate at the top of the order, the England rookies took it upon themselves to set the agenda with a spate of high-octane cameos.

"Go down blazing, those were our orders, without a doubt," said Kieswetter. "To be an opener in Twenty20 cricket is a high-risk environment. You have to be quite selfless, you have to play for the team, and that means that averages and wickets are superfluous to the team needs. But Michael and I were so thrilled to be part of the set-up, because the dressing-room environment was so far from what you'd expect. Everyone was looking to move the team forward, and that made it really easy for us to slip into the roles we needed to play, but also the roles we enjoy playing."

"Even before the tournament started we were quietly confident that we could achieve success, because had a squad in which all the players knew their roles and what they needed to do to help the team achieve," he said. "A player like Luke Wright, who didn't get to bowl all tournament but then had to bowl an over in the final, was a testament to exactly how much hard work had gone into the team, and how much they wanted to play together."

In conventional terms, Lumb and Kieswetter's statistics ended up being fairly run-of-the-mill - 359 runs between them in the tournament at an average of 25.64, with Kieswetter's 63 against Australia being their only half-century in 14 visits to the crease. However, they required just 287 balls to amass that tally, and the speed of their scoring provided the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan the perfect platform from which to dominate the middle overs.

"The fact that both of us were pretty unknown quantities in international cricket gave us both the mentality of being allowed to be free and go out and express ourselves," said Kieswetter. "Also, the fact that we get along very well off the field helped us to click on the field, and get the team off to some really positive starts. But for both of us, we were just really chuffed to be there and to be part of a really addictive environment. We just wanted to enjoy the experience while we were there."

"Enjoyment" isn't a word that has been associated with many England campaigns in ICC events, least of all the World Twenty20, in which the team flopped in both 2007 and 2009. But while Kieswetter's breezy innocence played a significant role in cultivating a new upbeat demeanour, he recognised that the real credit for the team's transformation from also-rans to winners lay with the man who had taken his licks and learnt his lessons from leading the side in the two previous tournaments.

"I was obviously lucky enough to get runs and hit sixes and express myself, but a lot of that was down to the environment that Paul Collingwood managed to create, along with Andy [Flower]," he said. "Colly, he's our leader, everyone in the squad fully backs him, and respects and trusts him, and when we won, it was a real sense of relief, and a justification of the hard work he had put in, and all the abuse that he'd taken in previous World Cups. To be able to achieve that and work with the pressure that he did, we were really proud of him."

After all that he's achieved in the past few weeks, it's incredible to think that Kieswetter has yet to play in front of an English international audience. With no T20Is scheduled until September, it's not immediately obvious when that home debut will come, seeing as Matt Prior is still the man in possession in 50-over and Test cricket. But Kieswetter has already displaced his rival in one format, and already his eyes are drifting towards the prize that is glinting on the horizon this winter.

"I'd love to be on that plane to Australia," he said. "Any English cricketer would love to be heading out for the Ashes, because that has to be the pinnacle for Test cricket. But right now, I have to try not to look too far ahead. Matt's got the gloves, so for me, it's about training hard, putting in my hard graft and aiming for consistent performances for Somerset. I'll be taking each day as it comes, and trying to enjoy myself along the way as well."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by   on (May 23, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

As if Kevin Pietersen is not "good enough" for the team having people like Duminy and the other Petersen.

Posted by D.S.A on (May 23, 2010, 9:44 GMT)

@bobmartin: You say that I'm talking rubbish?'s you that comparing cricket to surgery! CRICKET TO A LIFE AND DEATH SITUATION! Are you serious? It's not a realistic comparison. by the way, you stated in your example that the surgeon was a Nigerian born person, yet he was unqualified...How can he be an unqualified surgeon? If that's commonplace in Nigeria, then fair enough but I'm from England, so I doubt that an unqualified surgeon exists here as you have to be QUALIFIED via an education to be a surgeon...I'd have thought that would be the case in most countries but apparently not. As a result, if he or she were the only person available, then yes I concur, otherwise no, I would somehow refuse. Forget about this example, the point I'm making is that Lumb, Strauss, Pietersen and Kieswetter would have gladly played for South Africa had they all been given the opportunity but they weren't, so they jumped ship to a country where they would accept them, and Morgan is still a sellout!

Posted by   on (May 23, 2010, 6:27 GMT)

All the so called "South African" players including Graeme Smith himself can be dated back to England. Just a few generations in South Africa, but their roots are still English. Now the SA fans out of their inferiority complex says of "imported players" in England. Maybe many of them do not feel that they originally belong to South Africa.

Posted by bobmartin on (May 22, 2010, 16:47 GMT)

D.S.A. you talk rubbish.. Just to give an example... You have a heart attack and need by-pass surgery..The surgeon who comes to your bedside to tell you what he is going to be doing to you during the operation tomorrow is a Nigerian, born and bred in another country. I wonder if you'd say he's not qualified and refuse the operation. It happened to me 10 years ago .. and I didn't.. Perhaps that's why I'm less dogmatic about someone who has been born and bred in another country plying his trade in Britain. If he's qualified.. good luck to him.

Posted by srini1088 on (May 21, 2010, 10:13 GMT)

pity south africa...they have lost yet another quality player to England...and he could ve possibly replaced boucher in odis and t20s....but here he is playin 4 england....first saw him in one of the domestic t20s playin for somerset...he smashed the bowlin along with trescothic and he showed he s much more than just a county cricketer

Posted by D.S.A on (May 21, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

HAHA. Those of you who are convinced that this is a great English victory must be delusional. It's funny how "qualified" English batsmen have led England to their 1st successful tournament, but when the ACTUAL Englishmen were playing (that being those who were born here or started and continued playing cricket here from a young age), there was no success. There's a reason why the ECB are funding more money into grassroots cricket...WORK IT OUT IF YOU'RE SMART ENOUGH! (if you still don't know, look at the article and discussion...) Nonetheless, the "England" team is a joke and will continue to be a joke while 4 out of the top 5 batsmen are players who don't have a right to be playing for England because they couldn't make it in their original country's team, or in Morgan's case, selling out his country for more exposure and money. THIS, SOON TO BE, WORLD XI QUALIFIED TEAM IS A COMPLETE JOKE!

Posted by KepplerMyMan on (May 21, 2010, 3:18 GMT)

I am glad England won the 20/20, even though they had a multinational team. Maybe SA can look at the way England choose their team, ON MERIT, and not on a Racist Quota system. I can bet my bottom dollar that even with all the talent SA has that they will never amount too much until they remove politics from sport. Good on you England

Posted by bobmartin on (May 20, 2010, 15:48 GMT)

There are two distinct issues here.. Players born overseas playing for England and Kolpak players in county cricket. This article explains the difference between the two.,499,BP.html Kolpak players came here as a result of EU legislation. Simply put, it allowed counties to employ foreign players without contravening the ECB's overseas player quota. It's the counties exploiting this loophole which has led to the current situation where foreign players are keeping England qualified players out of the first class game. However, the EU have now reviewed the situation and the ECB can in future limit their numbers. In respect of players born overseas playing for England, the qualifying regulations are an ICC requirement.

Posted by Sutekh35 on (May 20, 2010, 15:03 GMT)

Just to mention that my county Glamorgan has just gone top of the 2nd division championship, despite only having one bona fide overseas player, Mark Cosgrove. Okay, Jim Allenby is also Australian but his case is totally different. What worries me slightly is when a county side packs its team with retired test cricketers from other countries, allowed to play under the Kolpak ruling. This does have an effect on the nurturing of local talent, and is detrimental to the long term future of the England team. Okay, I will conceed that there is a strong arguement that these players do bring the crowds in, but at what cost? Just to mention England's triumphagain. The reason I mentioned foreign born players who played for England in the past, in my previous post, is that it has never been such a big issue before, well not with Australia anyway. If they carry on moaning too much they might be at risk of being thought of as poor losers. As mentioned by others, Englands bowlers were not from SA

Posted by Naren on (May 20, 2010, 14:37 GMT)

We are not trying to abuse England on their deserving victory. We are criticizing the policy. Just because somebody is good you cannot leapfrog them over several other cricketers in the country. Kieswetter has barely played county cricket for long, same with Morgan. How can you select them ahead of so many other english cricketers? It is not fair, the country will stop producing good ones and there will be 11 south africans playing in the team.

Posted by DaddyDickFingers on (May 20, 2010, 14:11 GMT)

@ mikevb57... In answer to your question, the country that you personally feel most proud to represent or feel a part of... but what was your ancestry before those 300 years Europe? the UK? Same applies to the Australians, many of whom are ex pats or have ancestry relating back to Europe... The point is people lead their lives how they want to lead them, they move or work abroad, they have children in a different country... There is a quota system for a reason, as we can't do the PC version (i stated earlier) many fans on here seem to be striving for... If you work, pay tax, reside, have children in a particular country then why can't you try to make that country better in an international sporting arena??? What is the problem if you feel like your a part of the country you reside in and you are proud to represent it?

Posted by Energisermax on (May 20, 2010, 13:55 GMT)

Ok, and the problem is.... I don't see a problem. There is citizen by birth and by qualification. So whatever way you qualify you are still a citizen and bravo to you so let's move on. Good job England...

Posted by King_Viv on (May 20, 2010, 12:50 GMT)

You can't blame the players...only the system. Allowing Kolpak players to play unrestricted in county cricket stunts the development of locally born and raised talent which means more Kolpaks and foreign born and raised players (as opposed to just foreign born Nasser, Pringle etc) in the England team. Perhaps an IPL style law is required whereby 4 English qualified players under 23/25 must be selected for every game. This would ensure the development of young local talent alongside Kolpaks, overseas and more experienced players. There are so many people with EU passports living in Oz and SA that Kolpaks will continue to flood into the UK until a specific rule to protect and nurture young local talent is brought in. Don't blame KP and Kieswetter...blame the system.

Posted by mikevb57 on (May 20, 2010, 12:48 GMT)


How long do you have to be in a country to be a "true" countyman. I am white but my family roots are South African for over 300 years. So which country could I play for if I had any talent ?

Posted by Poodie on (May 20, 2010, 12:46 GMT)

People are raising the SA cricketer issue because of the sheer numbers. You can mention the likes of Symmonds and other players who could have played for a couple of countries, but they are generally a flash in the pan. At any given time, there are 3 or more south african born and raised players in the english team. Furthermore, they are frequently the star players and in this instance basically carried England to victory. There is no doubt that england would have been worse off had these people decided to stay in SA, where they percieved their opportunities to be worse. And south africans have reason to be bitter about it, and the english have their reasons to be defensive about it. But none of this is important.... the important thing is that 3 Saffers, an Irishman and and englishman knocked the stuffing out of the aussies...

Posted by mikevb57 on (May 20, 2010, 12:34 GMT)

@ njr1330 on (May 20 2010, 09:39 AM GMT) said "Kieswetter spent his entire secondary school career at Millfield. Millfield is in Somerset"

This is wrong ... get your facts straight before you start spouting !

Craig Kieswetter completed senior school at Diocesan College (Bishops) in Cape Town. He then played for SA u19 before coming to Millfield to do a "post-matric" year. He is a South African, but nonetheless qualified to play for England.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

I am glad England won but alright with all these articles! Time to work and sustain the momentum....remember what happened after the Ashes 2005?

Posted by Zsam on (May 20, 2010, 11:47 GMT)

Good that the two Saffers played really well in the final to win the cup for Eng. However when they both got out, it was still some 30 odd runs left and I felt that the kind of strokeplay displayed by them at stage of the game was needless bravado, it could have cost them dearly also, thoguh Colingwood did well. All I could think then was that here goes another set of Saffers..down the chokers' alley! I was screaming once a choker always a choker! But then I was proved wrong thoguh I'm glad and don't mind it one bit!

Posted by teakay on (May 20, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

Perhaps Pieterson, Kieswetter and Morgan maybe exciting to watch and have had a successful competition but lets not forget the win in the final was largely down to the bowling performance of Swan, Broad, Sidebottom, Bresden and Wright.

I am not quite sure what people expect. Would it not be morally wrong to prevent people that are UK citizens for playing for England? Perhaps the countries these players are leaving should be doing more to make they want to play for them?

As for playersfrom non test playing countries eg Morgan - if they have the ability why should they be denied opportunity to play cricket at the highest level? It is like the talented youngster playing for his village side he should not be critisized for joining a bigger team to play a higher standard.

Posted by safbob on (May 20, 2010, 11:08 GMT)

It sad that there's a lack of real debate about what will eventually become a very serious issue for international cricket. The truth about all these South Africans playing for England is they can earn about four times the money playing for England then they can for South Africa (the quota system is a red herring) they're mercenaries not patriots. The net result is that the rich countries will always benefit from of the fruits of the poor the and eventual imbalances this causes will weaken international cricket. The question the english should be asking themselves is why is there system so poor that the have to rely on so many foreign players.

Posted by TurningSquare on (May 20, 2010, 10:36 GMT)

To the rest of the world who seems to be anti-England: I think you'll find that our ENGLISH bowling attack won us the tournament namely Graeme Swann one of the best bowlers in the world at the moment, he can't be English surely ? Oh wait a minute he is. Additionally do you seriously think that were overjoyed to have other nations representing us ? I'd love to have 11 English men playing for us. Keep on hurling your abuse towards English cricket if that gives you satisfaction.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2010, 10:33 GMT)

move on folks. Years ago county teams consisted only of players born in the county. Yorkshire stubbornly continued this practice long after the rest had stopped. Nobody turns a hair now that they buy in - for goodness sake- oversea players, and we still follow our 'county' teams.

At least we demand that oversea players commit to becoming full English citizens. Anyway you could say that Keiswetter's right arm and leg are Engl, sorry, Scot. Half a Brit.

Posted by Sutekh35 on (May 20, 2010, 10:17 GMT)

I do have a certain amount of sympathy for the view of those who criticize the numbers of England cricketers not born in the U.K. My county team Glamorgan has played a Northants team in the last couple of years almost entirely composed of Kolpak signings. It was like Glamorgan vs South Africa. I think there is one big difference however. Pieterson and especially Kieswetter have no guarentee of a place in the England team. When Pieterson made his test debut aggainst the Aussies it could have gone wrong. Kiewetter has chosen to play as a wicketkeeeper for a country with an abudance of talented glovers. All that matters to me is that these players play for their country with pride, and this is certainly the case with Pieterson, Kiewetter, Morgan etc. One further point, and that is that England have been a team that has always embraced different nationalities. Edmonds, Malcolm, Hick, Pringle anybody? That is not a criticizm by the way, it just reflects the U.K as a nation of diversity.

Posted by njr1330 on (May 20, 2010, 9:39 GMT)

Kieswetter spent his entire secondary school career at Millfield. Millfield is in Somerset...last time I looked, Somerset was in England, but I'll get the atlas out and case it's moved!

By the way, does anyone remember the gifted Australian all-rounder Brendon Julien? That would be Brendon the Maori, born in Christchurch NZ, Julien.

And the New Zealand all-rounder Tama Canning; born WA.

Posted by bumsonseats on (May 20, 2010, 9:35 GMT)

can we not finish this subject on so called SA imports. the guys are qualified for england. they have one or both of their parents uk born. they decided in their teens that they wanted to play cricket in england. later they found they were rather good at it. all the guys who write in complaining its just sour grapes. they shoud understand the facts of these cases. with morgan it was simple he wanted to better his cricket, like 1000s of irish people who decide to live and work in the UK and have done so for over a 100 years. its funny when they were first selected, the common thought was they were not good enough. all sports in the UK are liable to this might be that the UK offers them a better life with their given sport and life style after they finish. think about it. dpk

Posted by DaddyDickFingers on (May 20, 2010, 9:15 GMT)

Yawn the import talk is getting a bit boring now.. I don't want to shock anybody here, but The United Kingdom isn't just made up of white people, it is a multicultural society that has stemmed from the days of the British Empire...

If we want to be PC about cricket then South Africa should only play a team of black people (true South Africans) and Australia should play a team of Aborigines (true Australians)...

People in glass house should not throw stones, it happens in other countries too Andrew Symonds, Kepler Wessels, Dirk Nannes, Brendan Nash, Usman Khawaja etc etc

The world is an ever evolving place, people explore, travel across the globe, have children in different countries, find their true home.

Deal with it as it will never go away!!

Posted by coatsie89 on (May 20, 2010, 9:12 GMT)

I think people need to start forgetting this whole English/South African argument - it's pathetic. Andrew Symond shad the choice of England and Australia and i don't think i've ever heard an argument about him choosing who he plays for. It's not as if its the like the IPL or the football premier league - Andy Flower can't just stroll up to Doug Bollinger because he wasn;t picked for the World T20 for Aus and ask him to play for England. People leading this argument need to grow up and start enjoying the cricket that the ENGLISHMEN produced in that tournament. Craig Kieswetter plays for England LEGALLY, therefore, i will support him!

Posted by rahul_studd on (May 20, 2010, 9:01 GMT)

i think england have found new Alec Stewart to the squad after many years. GO Great Britain GO

Posted by Nuxxy on (May 20, 2010, 8:56 GMT)

What I find funny it that not only are South Africa struggling to find a decent opener to partner Graeme Smith, but they are also looking for a new keeper to replace Boucher. lol

Posted by Premump on (May 20, 2010, 8:31 GMT)

The definition of a true Englishman is a legal resident and citizen who, irrespective of birth, background, class, race or religion, shares and defends its values, laws, institutions. It has been thus since time immemorial and it is why we should all be so proud of our history and our heritage.

Posted by bobmartin on (May 20, 2010, 8:24 GMT)

Let's get a few things clear and stop all this nonsense. As Kev Martin rightly said.. it's immigration and globalisation, to which I would add, the other important words qualification and freedom of choice. Few people would claim that Englishmen won the T20 world cup because it simply isn't true. It was a team of qualified cricketers representing England. They didn't chose who their parents were nor the country of their birth. What they did, was to exercise their prerogative to represent the country of their choice and be proud to do so. Surely no-one would argue seriously for that right to be taken away.

Posted by MiddlePeg on (May 20, 2010, 8:03 GMT)

Isn't it hilarious how when different nations were beating an England side containing Andy Caddick, Graeme Hick, Robin Smith etc they felt they were better than 'England'? Now that England is at the top -of what is widely regarded in England as the most rubbish form of cricket- all of the other nations are wimpering that it isn't really England that's winning! Just play better cricket yourselves and stop wingeing!...

Posted by bobmartin on (May 20, 2010, 7:38 GMT)

Let's get a few things clear and stop all this nonsense. As Kev Martin rightly said.. it's immigration and globalisation, to which I would add, the other important words qualification and freedom of choice. Few people would claim that Englishmen won the T20 world cup because it simply isn't true. It was a team of qualified cricketers representing England. They didn't chose who their parents were nor the country of their birth. What they did, was to exercise their prerogative to represent the country of their choice and be proud to do so. Surely no-one would argue seriously for that right to be taken away.

Posted by Taz786 on (May 20, 2010, 7:35 GMT)

Same thing with Derek Nannes, barely 12 months ago he was representing Netherlands in the World Twenty20 2009, now all of a sudden he's representing the Aussies. There has to be a bigger time gap for qualifying to be able to play for another country from the country of your original birth etc.

It's not fair that the Associate teams unearth these talents and then they move on to bigger things.

Still well done England.

Posted by Borz on (May 20, 2010, 5:56 GMT)

OK so we need to allow for immigration and globalization, but no matter what, its still very difficult to actually say that an English team with English players starring has won the T20 World Cup.

Posted by cheeseburgers on (May 20, 2010, 3:57 GMT)

Kieswetter the next KP :)

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (May 20, 2010, 3:55 GMT)

When England win it's because of the Saffers and when they lose it is because of themselves... It's funny, how England wins one tournament in 35 years and the English think they are the new lords of world cricket. Maybe they should visit India once again for a series blank out. India was brought stright down to the ground when the WI decimated India in the "revenge series" after 1983. England did well because of one man - KP who consistently performed at no.3. Without him, they would have been a rudderless ship. For people who think that Eng performed exceptionally well throughout the tournament, one only needs to revisit their match against Ireland... what was it 120 in 20? Lol.

Posted by Saichandm on (May 20, 2010, 3:46 GMT)

Though I was impressed with the way he hung around and paced his innings in a high pressure match, I am still not really convinced of his technique. He likes to get on to front foot. He was squared up by nannes many a times in the match everytime he bowled that "just short of length" balls. His knock wasn't clean either. Couple of upper edge cutsfor fours. A one handed pick up shot for six which was more of a "let me get some bat on the ball".

Another interesting thing, Aussies always are hurt by newcommers. It happened it the 5th Ashes test as well.

Yeah, Craig did show promise but the real test would be in Ashes down under if he gets a chance.

Posted by Naren on (May 20, 2010, 3:40 GMT)

Any player in this england side that makes you sit up and watch are not englishman. Pieterson, Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan... ICC should have some sort of rules to control this. Fully imported stuff.

Posted by avssrs on (May 20, 2010, 3:05 GMT)


Er... yes Ananth. T20 is recognised as cricket now and they did achieve something special. And he did bat the way one should in a World Cup. I'm Indian, look at our boys. What irks me is not that we lost, but that they really didn't seem to care one way or another. The fire from 2007 was missing. This time England had the fire and it's quite apt that they won. So go whinge somewhere else.

Posted by boris6491 on (May 20, 2010, 2:39 GMT)

The first time I saw Kieswetter was on television a couple of years ago playing for Somerset. There he was alongside Trescothick and bettering Tresco's strike rate! It left me wondering 'who in the world is this guy and why isn't he playing for England?!' Those feelings were strengthened when I discovered he was a wicketkeeper considering that, at the time, Matt Prior's wicketkeeping was mediocre at best. England would be foolish not to take a player of such quality to Australia for the Ashes. He has the temperament, as he displayed in Bangladesh to build an innings and the attacking instinct to put a side under pressure. It would be vital as it is to retain a back up wicketkeeping option, if Prior is still donning the gloves, although I don't expect it to be long before Kieswetter takes over. A lot of ruckus has been made over the fact that he is South African born. That maybe true, but now he is playing for England and that is the reality of it. He has an extremely bright future.

Posted by lucyferr on (May 20, 2010, 1:41 GMT)

I bet the Western Province team officials who told the teenage Kieswetter to "go and play club cricket for a few years before you play for us" (which is when he decided to go seek his fortune near his mum's place) are kicking themselves now!

Posted by jack_d on (May 20, 2010, 0:59 GMT)

as much as i agree upon his talent and temperament, "Any English cricketer would love to be heading out for the Ashes, because that has to be the pinnacle for Test cricket" ??!!! pinnacle for Test cricket" ??!!! really ??!!!! may be true for english/aussie cricketers, but not for the rest of the cricketing world..... why english/aussie cricketing world always declare this self-announced things that only their test cricket is the real stuff and the rest of the world is just wasting their time by giving any importance to ind vs pak or pak vs sl or sa vs ind or sa vs wi or any other game that did not involve eng and aus??? to an extent, aus vs ind produce more thrilling test cricket both in aus and in ind than what eng vs aus has produced in last few years (barring one good ashes series - 2005) i'd rather spend my bucks on aus vs sa or aus vs ind test match than on aus vs eng

Posted by anoopbal on (May 20, 2010, 0:42 GMT)

If we have a world cup every year, every team will get one in a few years.

Seems like a joke.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2010, 0:05 GMT)

@hh91 - a couple of words for you you may not have heard of, though they are both big ones (9 syllables between them!), so feel free to take some time to try and understand them: Immigration and Globalization.

Deal with it.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2010, 0:04 GMT)

Well done, to both the "saffers" that have learnt their adult cricket in England, and have earnt their right to play for this green and pleasant land. A slap on the back for Andy Flower I believe, or is that not allowed since he hails from Zimbabwe? Furthermore, restricting Australia to such a mediocre score was a great achievement from the bowlers. Wait a minute, let me check! It's ok, they were all English, which should be mentioned. Once they are eligible to play for a country, they can play for the country. End of. WELL DONE, ENGLAND!

Posted by ZainHaq11 on (May 19, 2010, 23:38 GMT)

Kieswetter was one of the real force behind victory along with Kevin Pieterson (two South Africans). The finisher role was played magnificently by Eoin Morgan (Irish) and that setup the English t20 victory.

What's more? Who remembers the last year's Ashes victory. The 5th and final test that England won: one man scored hundred from England and that almost lay the foundation for the victory. And that was Johnathan Trott (another South African).

SA should reallly ponder about abolishing their quota system since they have lost gems to England as a result of that. And who did Craig Kieswetter replace in the English side as a wicketkeeper? Matt Prior (another South African).

Andy Flower was also a South African product who played for Zimbabwe and has taken England to new heights!

Posted by bobmartin on (May 19, 2010, 22:35 GMT)

@hh91 [quote] knock knock...... both kieswetter and pieitersen are saffers.......not southafricans won england the world t20 ... ;) [/quote]

Yawn.... yawn... yawn ... Heard all that boring stuff before.. Funny how no-one brings it up when England lose... only when they win....

Posted by crikkk on (May 19, 2010, 22:28 GMT)

slogout page has become very slow

Posted by SpartanXI on (May 19, 2010, 22:25 GMT)

he was a trending topic on twitter right after they won the finals

Posted by landl47 on (May 19, 2010, 22:23 GMT)

What Kieswetter needs to do now is work as hard as he can at his wicketkeeping. His batting looks pretty good and so does his temperament, but if he wants to play in the longer formats he needs to be a better keeper. T20 is about keeping runs down, but at test level a chance missed is as bad as getting out for a duck. Still, at 22 he's got every chance of being a part of the English lineup for years to come.

Posted by DaddyDickFingers on (May 19, 2010, 21:02 GMT)

Good honest interview from a fresh young international cricketer

Posted by mucheemaann on (May 19, 2010, 20:44 GMT)

Really? T20 now means so much to both English cricketers and Cricket Writers? "Go down blazing"? "Craig Kieswetter has achieved a feat that eludes most cricketers in a lifetime"?

Posted by hh91 on (May 19, 2010, 20:14 GMT)

knock knock...... both kieswetter and pieitersen are saffers.......not southafricans won england the world t20 ... ;)

Posted by   on (May 19, 2010, 19:45 GMT)

I was at the Kensington and couple of shots he played made me think momentarily that it was Pieterson so who played those. I was talking with some other fans before the final and my thought was that good starts have been the reason for England's final appearance and if Australia knocks them out early I am not sure England will win. Kieswetter didn't leave any chance for my theory to be tested. His nerveless batting really surprised me and looks like he has a long career ahead of him.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2010, 19:03 GMT)

he's a new plus to england team :D

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Andrew MillerClose
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007

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