Ahead of the England - Ireland game, stories like this were always going to happen. At one stage, we could have seen Eoin Morgan line up for Ireland, 4 years after lining up for Ireland against them. And we will see Ed Joyce bat for the Irish, 4 years after playing for his adopted nation.
I've spoken literally days ago about players representing nations that aren't their own, and a bit longer ago about players chopping and changing their nation depending on the path their careers have taken.
And once more, with the big clash tomorrow between the respective "Rest of the World XIs" (harsh) the issue of playing for a different country than ones passport suggests has reared it's ugly head once more.
George Dockrell, the 81 year old 18 year old (because he has grey hair), who is Irish, has come out and said that he fancies playing for England. This is the same George Dockrell who is about to take on that said England side tomorrow. Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em...
That would be quite a simplistic place (and a nice snappy ending) on which to finish this blog. But I want to say something more profound (and controversial) about this issue. Eoin Morgan should not be playing for England. Ed Joyce should never have played for England. And George Dockrell should never play for England.
The whole issue of nationality in cricket is a pretty murky one, and we've seen players like Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Craig Kieswetter (to name but four) play for England recently after previously being bona fide South Africans. We've also had Aussie Brendan Nash playing for the West Indies, Pakistani Imran Tahir and Zim Paul Harris represent South Africa, and Saffer Grant Elliot getting games for New Zealand. And that's just to name a small example from the test playing nations. And doesn't include the Strauss / Prior brigade of being born in a country but growing up somewhere else. Or the associates.
That's one side of the coin. The guys who for one reason or another, whether political, personal or cricketing grounds decide to chance their arm in another country, apply for a passport, and hope for selection. But the other side are the guys who play for one nation, realise that they'd prefer to play for another team, and move on. I'm looking at Dirk Nannes, Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce. Ryan ten Doeschate and Alexei Kervezee have both come out in the last week fluttering their eyes at other nations, and now Dockrell's said he fancies a move away.
What a remarkable lack of loyalty to the nation you're representing on the biggest stage in world Cricket! Yes, I can see there are clear advantages to playing for South Africa ahead of Holland, or England ahead of Ireland, but as soon as a player pulls on the jersey of one nation, that should be their nation. While the ICC's laws about qualification for a nation do need to be reviewed (the large amount of players I listed as examples off the top of my head is testament to that), they certainly need to outlaw the flip-flopping of players picking and choosing which passport they fancy using at any given time. Were I an Irish fan (by which I mean a 100% one rather than being a plastic Paddy), I'd be livid at Dockrell for basically coming out and shunning my nation, but I'm afraid they'd be more resigned to the fact that their brightest talents will always leave them.