17 January, 2015. 15:30
JACO VAN DER MERWE | Cricket | Contact
The ICC has confirmed that England is under investigation and could risk disqualification from the upcoming World Cup after a dramatic change in the international qualification laws.
The Betoota Advocate can exclusively report that the ICC are “sick and tired” of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) constantly “exploiting the rules” by qualifying players that aren’t traditionally “English”.
The revelation comes in wake of former English captain, Alastair Cook being left out from the 15 man English squad, only to be replaced by the Irishman, Eion Morgan.
“Morgan is about as English as I am!” said Sri Lankan ICC board member, Jayantha Dharmadasa who noted he has been to England once.
“I think the board with myself included has just about had enough of England assuming they have the right to select players who become ‘English’ after half a season of county cricket. It is just getting beyond a joke.”
Law 3.3 under player eligibility currently states that a player become eligible if “the Player is a Resident of the relevant country. In other words: the Player has resided in the relevant country for a minimum of 183 days in each of the immediately preceding seven years (male Players only).”
“What the old law states is that if I decided to have a holiday down in Devon once every two years for a couple of months – and my grandfather was from there – then I could play for England” said close personal friend and South African ICC Board Member, Chris Nenzani.
“I first had an issue with this all the way back in the early 90’s when Graeme Hick (Zimbabwe), Lamb Smith, Robin Smith (South Africa), Derek Pringle (Kenya), Chris Lewis, Phil DeFreitas (West Indies) and Dermot Reeve (Hong Kong) all lined up for England” he continued on to say.
“It wasn’t so much of a problem back then because the English were notoriously sh*t – but when they blatantly stole Strauss, Prior, Pietersen and Trott from my homeland – I knew that enough was enough.”
The new law states that the Player must be a Resident of the relevant country, in other words: the Player has resided in the relevant country since the age of 6 years and 6 months without more than 12 months out of the country.
It is believed the final straw for the ICC came when Gary Ballance (Zimbabwe) edged out Ben Stokes (New Zealand) as being the final man selected in the English 15-man World Cup squad.
“Zimbabwe and New Zealand aren’t even good at cricket – and the West Indies aren’t much better!” Said Dharmadasa, in reference to “English” fast bowler Chris Jordan, who was born in Barbados.
“Not only does it undermine the development young talent in England, but it also reflects badly on the game”
In other selection related drama, The Betoota Advocate can reveal that many English youngsters are traveling to India, Pakistan and South Africa – in a bid to get picked in their own national team.
Lancashire father of three, Harry Pendlebury took his kids to the sub-continent and put them into well-known cricketing schools to help their careers.
“They just have more opportunity to be noticed by the English selectors in India or Pakistan – as a lot of the current English players have cousins and uncles that serve as talent scouts there.”
It is thought that England were warned about the change in the rules but decided to not heed the warnings as “there wasn’t actually any real talent in England”.
Australia is suspected to have left Steve O’Keefe (Malaysia), Moises Henrique (Portugal) and Usman Khawaja (Pakistan) out of the squad, although they would have qualified to play under the new laws.
It is also believed South Africa has Robin Peterson on stand-by in case Imran Tahir (Pakistan) does not qualify to play.
England is believed to have a week to either challenge the decision, change their team or risk being disqualified from the World Cup.
After a promising junior career as a fiery left arm quick in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, JACO VAN DER MERWE was given the opportunity to move to the Western Cape at just 15 – It was here where he would enter a strong South African development squad. Tragically, an all too familiar carjacking attempt on his family saw his father accidentally misfire his high-powered pistol, leaving Jaco with a gunshot wound to his left shoulder – He was unable to bowl pace ever again. However, Van Der Merwe’s passion for cricket did not stop there as he began writing and quickly became the junior sports editor for the IOL independent. Jaco now writes and resides in Betoota with his wife Marcel and their two sons Rillie and Pieter.