Fast-tracked citizens: Five players who wasted no time with England call-ups
Jofra Archer could make his England debut during the World Cup. ESPNcricinfo takes a look at five other players who were swiftly included in their new country's plans
The news that the ECB have reduced their residency qualification from seven years to three opens the possibility of the Barbados-born Jofra Archer making his senior international debut during England's World Cup campaign. ESPNcricinfo takes a look at five other players who were swiftly included in their new country's plans
Allan Lamb 1982
Squat, pugnacious and blessed with an eagle eye to offset his relative lack of footwork, Lamb rocked up at Northamptonshire in the summer of 1978, fresh from Western Province, at a time when South Africa's apartheid isolation meant any Test ambitions for his native country were a non-starter. Technically he had no need to serve any time on the sidelines - his English mother made him eligible from the outset - but having been encouraged by his club secretary, Ken Turner, to consider his options with England, the circumstances of his eventual Test debut, against India at Lord's in 1982
, were laced with irony. He slotted into the side after a raft of senior players, including Graham Gooch and Geoff Boycott, had been served with three-year bans for joining the rebel tour of South Africa. Lamb duly bedded in for a hefty England career, featuring 79 Tests, two World Cup finals, and three stints as stand-in as captain, against West Indies and Ausralia in 1990.
Graeme Hick 1991
In the summer of 1984, the 18-year-old Hick arrived at Worcestershire on a ZCU scholarship to launch one of the most formidable domestic careers of all time. An international career was a matter of when, not if. The trouble was, Zimbabwe were still several years from achieving Test status, and despite the offer of a four-year residency with New Zealand, Hick opted to complete the seven-year process to play for England, making for a date with destiny in the summer of 1991. His returns simply got more tantalising as the clock ticked down - in 1988, he achieved the rare feat of 1000 runs before the end of May, including a career-best 405 not out against Somerset and, on May 31, 172 not out against the touring West Indians. When West Indies returned three years later, however, Hick was a marked man, and Curtly Ambrose in particular
took great delight in tormenting a mild-mannered giant who never found the means to translate his immense power to the longest format. What might have been had he stayed put in Zimbabwe, and out of the limelight, and turned out instead for the country of his birth? Ironically, their Test status was granted only one year after Hick's, with their first Test taking place against India in October 1992.
Kevin Pietersen 2004
Brash, arrogant and sensationally talented, Pietersen had been plying his trade as a lower-order offspinner for KwaZulu-Natal when he impressed Nasser Hussain's England team with a hard-hitting half-century from No.9 on their 1999-2000 tour. The following summer, he pitched up in England on a mission to qualify for the land of his mother's birth, and after being signed by Nottinghamshire on the say-so of his former mentor Clive Rice, he blazed such a trail in county cricket that his claims could not be ignored (even if his manners, at times, could have been improved). On his first England representative tour, to India in 2003-04, Pietersen scorched 523 runs in six first-class innings (with a one-day hundred against India A for good measure) and having served what was now a four-year qualification period, he made his ODI debut on the Zimbabwe leg of England's winter tour. His true baptism, however, came in the New Year against South Africa. Pietersen has often stated that his savage reception at the Bullring
for his first innings against his former countrymen was the experience that convinced him he could deal with any situation. By the end of the series, he had flogged three centuries in a 4-1 losing cause. His Test debut followed at Lord's, in the opening match of the 2005 Ashes, and the rest very quickly became history.
Eoin Morgan 2009
Growing up in Dublin long before Test status for Ireland was even a remote possibility, there had rarely been any doubt in Morgan's mind that he would one day represent England. At the age of 20, he had been a member of the Ireland team that made history at the 2007 World Cup
by knocking out Pakistan and qualifying for the Super Eights, but by the time of the next global tournament, the World T20 in 2009, he had completed his switch of allegiance. He duly made his T20 debut in the opening match against Netherlands at Lord's, but did not feature again after England's shock defeat. In South Africa in November, however, he found his feet with a brace of half-centuries in England's equally shocking progression to the Champions Trophy semi-final. And though he failed to kick on in Test cricket despite a century in his third Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, his repertoire of unorthodox strokes, not least his pioneering use of the reverse sweep, continued to mark him out as white-ball trailblazer. In 2015, he was finally trusted to lead from the front as captain, and his nonconformist influence has instigated nothing short of a revolution in England's ODI team.
Craig Kieswetter 2010
If the time-frames seem tight for Archer's potential international bow at the 2019 World Cup, then at least there's a precedent for England taking a punt on a rookie going into a global tournament and having it pay off in spades. Three months out from the 2010 World T20, England had been planning to go into the tournament with the less-than-turbocharged pairing of Jonathan Trott and Joe Denly at the top of their 20-over order. All that changed on their brief stop-over in the UAE, en route to Bangladesh that February. In a warm-up match against the England Lions in Abu Dhabi, the senior side was utterly trounced by the opening pairing of Michael Lumb (58 from 35) and Kieswetter (81 from 66 balls), who had just completed his residency qualification, having last represented South Africa at the Under-19 World Cup four years earlier. The pair were instantly included in England's World T20 squad, and Kieswetter went on to make the matchwinning half-century in the final
against Australia, to secure England's first - and to date, only - piece of global silverware.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo @miller_cricket