“English” Test Cricket teams from across the British Empire

They used to say the sun never set on the British Empire.  Being of primarily Irish and German heritage, I can’t say it was an empire of which I would have been enamoured.    Their Empire is no longer, though there is now a Commonwealth.  From the far flung nations of the former Empire the English cricket team has had a steady collection of players appearing, especially  in the last 40+ years.  So I thought,  let’s pick some sides reflecting the diversity of these players who have appeared for England on the Test playing arena.

The players in the teams were either born outside of  England, or their family origins are from outside of England. I have also decided not to include players like Douglas Jardine or Colin Cowdrey, who, despite being born in outposts of the former Empire, do not reflect the different racial groupings and cultures so pivotal to those societies.

I have only chosen those who  appeared at Test level, restricting the sides somewhat. For those whose appearances for England have been  in limited overs cricket, a further  side might be an option.

From the African continent you would have a  team looking like this:

A Strauss

J Trott

R Smith

K Pietersen

C Smith

A Lamb

A Greig (c)

B D’Oliveira

M Prior

D Pringle

I Greig


From the Caribbean  a side along these lines would be chosen:

M Carberry

W Slack

R Butcher

C Lewis

P DeFreitas

G Small

N Williams

J Benjamin

D Lawrence

D Malcolm


Of course the jewel in the Empire’s crown was India. Thus we have a side of players from the subcontinent:

The Nawab of Patudi, Snr

KS Ranjitsinhji

KS Duleepsinhji

N Hussain

Owais Shah

R Bopara

Samit Patel

Ajmal Shahzad

Amjad Khan

M Panesar


There are some key gaps. I left out Mark Ramprakash, whose background is Indo-Carribean, because I couldn’t determine which team to put him in.  Any suggestions ?

For the latter pair of teams I could not think of who could wicketkeep, which is why both teams only have 10 players;  again, any suggestions?



  1. matt watson says

    How many Aussies have played for England?
    I can think of a few – Alan Mullally, Martin McCague, Sam Robson, Darren Pattinson…
    The Poms wouldn’t have been able to field a team in some eras without the imports.

  2. Hi Matt, Gubby Allen who toured here during the Bodyline series, then captained the English on their 1936-37 tour, was born in Australia. The Hollioake brothers were born here, as well as Jason Gallian.

    Martin McCague was born in Northern Ireland, as was possible Alan Mullally , though not 100% sure on him.

    Darren Pattinson born in the UK?



  3. If you want a keeper, Geraint Jones, played about 34 Tests for England and famously caught Kaspa in the 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test (dodgy call that would now be reversed on DRS) was born in PNG and grew up in Brisbane


  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Glen, Graeme Hick and Gary Ballance, both Zimbabwean born and bred could be options for the African team? Duncan Fletcher as coach?

    I would put Ramprakash in the Caribbean team, his father was born in Guyana and that team is light on for batsmen!

    Darren Pattinson was born in England, his brother James born in Australia. Can’t help with an African or Caribbean keeper.

    Don’t think you’d be able to pick teams like this for any other Test playing nation!

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    CG Greenidge was English but chose to represent the Windies!

    Norman Cowans was a quick of West Indian descent.

    Thought the older Pattinson was born in N Ireland, Same as ‘Roy’ Symonds (who they were trying to poach before he debuted for the Aussies).

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Darren Pattinson was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England. Andrew Symonds was born in Birmingham, England.

  7. Ta Luke. How did i forget Graeme Hick !!?? Major Faux pas. Jog my memory re Ballance; did he get a test(s)? Re Ramprakash, your selection makes sense.
    Skip i recall Norman Cowans picking up a bag at the MCG in 1982-83 when we lost the test by 3 runs.
    Sean i recall Geraint Jones, but we’re still seeking a keeper from the sub continent, or Caribbean origins. No one comes to mind readily.


  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Glen, Ballance made his Test debut at the SCG in January, and made his first Test century in the recent Lords Test against Sri Lanka. He represented Zimbabwe in the 2006 under 19 World Cup.

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