Almanac Cricket: Pastures Of Plenty

Many years back the great Woody Guthrie wrote the marvellous Pastures of Plenty, a song extolling the virtues of the migrants that made America. Back here in Australia, Paul Kelly did a wonderful cover on that tune.


With the debut, and contributions, of Marnus Labuschagne in helping Australia draw the first Test against Pakistan I thought of the contributions made to Australian cricket from those born away from here. To my comprehension there have been 26 Australian test cricketers who were not born in Australia, so who would comprise the best 11? Let’s see how this team reads.


With our openers i must make special mention of Charles Bannerman, with his range of firsts. He faced the first ball bowled in test cricket, scored the first run in test cricket, going onto score the first test ton. Of course he played in the first winning test side. Okay no further babble from me, here’s the team.


C Bannerman (England)

K Wessels ( South Africa)

A Jackson (Scotland)

U Khawaja (Pakistan)

A Symonds (England)

T Kelly  (Eire)

M Henriques (Portugal)

B Julian (New Zealand)

S Carter (England)

S O’Keefe (Malaysia)

C Grimmett ( New Zealand)


Recently it was estimated 28.2 % of us Australians are born overseas. Let’s recognise that, and acknowledge the contributions migrants make in all aspects of Australian society, including our Test team.


Thus, me being me, I’m including Marnus Labuschagne (South Africa) in the squad as the 12th man. A good reward for his first week in the Test arena.



Do you love the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE
Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE





  1. Shane John Backx says

    Of course Charlie Bannerman was also the first to get a 100 on debut too

  2. DBalassone says

    Excellent team. For a bit of Sri Lankan flavour, I’d throw Dav Whatmore into the mix – although hard to see him get a gig before those 2 openers. Maybe he could be coach – the 1996 World Cup looks pretty good on the resume.

    Hard to believe we haven’t had an Indian-born test player yet. Surely it’s only a matter of time.

  3. DB, Rex Sellers – whose only Test was against India, ironically, in 1964 – was born in Gujarat in western India.
    Suffice to say, it wasn’t a great game for Rex, scoring a duck batting at No.10 and taking 0-17 off five overs of leg-spin.

  4. Hilton Cartwright.
    Was born in Zimbabwe.

  5. Does any body know much about the origins of Graham Thomas, middle order batsmen , from the 1960’s?

    I recall reading he was of American first nation origins, also with a few other ethnic sources. This sentence doesn’t read well.


  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I like the concept Glen ! However, should the UK really count? It’s still quite an Anglo team. I know Dizzy Gillespie was part Greek.
    Bransby Cooper (Bangladesh) played alongside C.Bannerman in the inaugural test in 1877. Was also the keeper and took 2 catches

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Excellent team Glen.
    Grimmett and Wessels the only two to move from other nations to play because their home countries either weren’t yet a Test nation or suspended from Test cricket?

  8. Valid point(s) Luke. Can’t really give you a nuanced answer.

    Phil, I didn’t use the definition UK, preferring to say born in England & Scotland. I’ve got a feeling I may have previously posted a team of Australian cricketers who origins were neither Anglo, or Celtic. I’ll need to peruse all my postings. Jason Gillespie is also of indigenous Australian origins. I had Bransby Cooper as Indian.

    Another player who I considered was Tony Dell, the English born, Queensland pace man who played 2 tests for Australia. He also has another pair of handy claims to fame.

    To my knowledge he is the only Australian test player to serve in Vietnam, during that undeclared war. Also he is one of the few players to make their first class and test debut in the same season. His first test was against England, the final test of the 1970-71 season. We lost an intriguing encounter.


Leave a Comment