South Africa is one of the best cricketing nations in the world. After the International Cricket Council (ICC) lifted the anti-apartheid ban on South Africa in 1991, they have held the peak position in the international rankings many times. Nicknamed the Proteas, it is the most successful national One-Day International (ODI) team in the world with a success rate of 63.57 %. But due to some reasons, many players born in South Africa have played international cricket for other countries. Here are the Top 10 South Africa-born Players to have played for other countries-
1. Grant Elliott (New Zealand)
Do you remember the 2015 ICC World Cup semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand? New Zealand needed 5 runs from 2 balls. Grant Elliott hit Dale Steyn for a huge six to take New Zealand to the Final. But do you know what’s interesting? Elliott did so against his birth nation. Elliott was born in Johannesburg on 21 March 1979. He left South Africa looking for new opportunities in cricket. He settled in Wellington after he found opportunities in New Zealand.
2. Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne is a very vocal player when on the ground, whether it be shouting “No Run” while batting or his constant chatter while fielding. As of 7 January 2022, he is the World No. 1 batter in Test matches and has become an integral part of the Australian batting. He took birth in Klerksdorp in South Africa on 22 June 1994. His family settled in Australia when he was just 10. He rose through the ranks in the domestic circuit before making his international debut as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the 2nd Ashes Test 2019.
3. Jason Roy (England)
Jason Roy is an explosive right-handed opening-batter for England. But not many people know that he hails from South Africa and was born in Durban on 21 July 1990. He came to England at the age of 10 and debuted for Surrey as a 17-year-old. His rise as a white-ball specialist has ensured that he is a regular part of England’s ODI and T20I squads. He has also played franchise cricket for 13 teams across 6 leagues worldwide.
4. David Wiese (Namibia)
In the recent 2021 T20 World Cup, you might have seen David Wiese playing for Namibia. Well, he was born in Roodepoort in South Africa. In fact, before going to Namibia, Wiese had played for South Africa in 20 matches. In 2017, he signed a Kolpak deal with the English county team Sussex, making him ineligible to play for South Africa in the future. In 2021, he became eligible to play for Namibia since his father was born in the country. He has represented Namibia in 11 T20Is since.
5. Devon Conway (New Zealand)
Devon Conway is one of the many players born in South Africa to have played for New Zealand. He was born in Johannesburg on 8 July 1991. In 2017, he scored his first double-century for Gauteng Province. That was the last game he played as a South African domestic cricketer. He then moved to Wellington to find his future in cricket. In June 2021, while playing against England at Lord’s, he became the 7th batsman to score a double-century on his Test debut.
6. Kevin Pietersen (England)
Kevin Pietersen is one of the most stylish English batters, both in the sense of fashion and with the bat. He was born in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa on 27 June 1980. He left South African cricket in protest of the racial quota system in place which he felt was biased against the white players and restricted his cricketing opportunities in the country. He signed up with English county team Nottinghamshire and made his English debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe in 2004.
7. Roelof Van Der Merwe (The Netherlands)
Roelof van der Merwe is the first player to play white-ball cricket for another country after playing for South Africa. Born in Johannesburg on 31 December 1984, he made his ODI debut for South Africa against Australia in 2009. He represented the Proteas in 26 limited-overs matches before shifting to the Netherlands in June 2015. He plays as an all-rounder.
8. Michael Neser (Australia)
Michael Neser is a young Australian cricketer who made his debut in the international circuit against England in an ODI match in 2018. Although he grew up in Australia, he was born in Pretoria, the executive capital of South Africa. he shifted his bases to Gold Coast in Australia. As of 7 January 2022, he has represented Australia in a test match and two ODIs.
9. Andy Flower (Zimbabwe)
Andy Flower is often called the pioneer of the reverse sweep. The left-handed wicket-keeper-batter from Zimbabwe was indeed their best batter in the era of 2000. His test average of 51.54 proves it. Well, he was born in Cape Town in 1968 and then went to Zimbabwe. His career ended when he opposed Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s policies alongside teammate Henry Olonga in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
10. Curtis Campher (Ireland)
Curtis Campher was born in Johannesburg on 20 April 1999 and has represented the South Africa U19 team for some time. He had Irish citizenship through his grandmother and decided to play for the Ireland cricket team in 2020. He came into the limelight in the 2021 T20 World Cup match against the Netherlands. He became the first Irish bowler to take a hat-trick in a T20I match and 3rd international bowler to claim a double-hat-trick.