The T20 Qualifiers for the World Cup to be played later this year in Sri Lanka have been completed with Afghanistan qualifying, and boosting their hopes of becoming a test-playing nation.
The nations that will be in the Sri Lanka as well as the test playing countries will be Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland.
However questions need to be asked of the ICC how players who have already played for one country at International level can be allowed to suddenly represent another, without meeting some qualifying criteria.
Australian Michael Di Venuto played for Italy despite having played one-day internationals for Australia. He qualified due to his Italian origins, and his Italian passport has allowed him to play in England without being an overseas player. His brother Peter has also represented Italy.
Former England Wicket-keeper Geraint Jones represented Papua New Guinea, the place of his birth despite playing 34 tests and 49 ODI’s for England. Jones is in fact born in Papua New Guinea, of Welsh parents, and was raised in Australia, so his loyalties are very much divided.
Irishman Ed Joyce, who also happened to play for England returned to play for the country he originally played for before being capped by England. His case seems to have a little more merit than others.
This is however a worrying trend, and the ICC surely must put in place hard and firm qualification rules to stop players switching allegiances just because it suits them or is financially attractive.