As earlier mentioned, all T20 matches between ICC members now have T20I status. This has led to highly one-sided results, though there have also been surprises such as the Thai women’s team winning against Sri Lanka.
We now come to the case of non-local players in a national team. Some teams such as the UAE have been doing this for years, But one should remember that more than 50% of UAE’s population are expatriates, many of whom are from cricket majors such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Oman and Hong Kong have followed a similar policy, as have other potential “major market” teams such as the USA and Canada. Some African teams such as Kenya have Asian players whose families have lived there for generations, similar to the Kallicharans and Chanderpauls of the West Indies.
China, to its credit, has stuck to indigenous players in spite of suffering heavy losses.
Countries of the British Isles have (in recent years) been dependent on “imports” from various sources such as Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and South Asia. Admittedly, many of those from the “white Commonwealth” (such as Trott, Strauss, Pietersen and Caddick) are those whose families had migrated FROM Britain one or two generations ago.
And there are weird cases such as Andrew Symonds (born in Britain to West Indian parents, grew up in Britain, played for Australia). Another is Dimitri Mascarenhas (born in Britain to Sri Lankan parents, grew up in Australia and finally played for England).
And there are those of Asian origin such as current players Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and others from the recent past such as Ravi Bopara and Monty Panesar who have lived in Britain all their lives.
Dependence on foreign players (even if they are from former colonies) seems to be important in some major soccer teams, a good example being France. But there have been critics of this from within France, particularly when they won the World Cup in 1998 (when Zidane scored the first two goals in the final). Politicians such as Le Pen had nasty things to say then.
Now we come to the western European countries. Apart from the Netherlands, there is little tradition of cricket and most teams have to depend on imports (especially from South Asia, predominantly from Pakistan and now Afghanistan).
To prove this point, we look at the recent 3-match T20I series between Belgium and Germany. Belgium met its Waterloo, losing 3-0 in the matches played at (where else?) Waterloo.
You can see details of this series here:
Let us take the scorecard of any of the matches, say the second one:
We can see that the German team has 10 of the 11 members clearly from South Asia, certainly from India and Pakistan and perhaps Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. There is one with an Anglo-Saxon name called Daniel Weston who was born and brought up in Australia (Perth) but NOT Germany. Presumably all are citizens or permanent residents of Germany, but what is it doing to popularize cricket among the average sports followers in Germany? Not much.
Now look at the Belgian team.
All 11 in the team appear to be of Pakistani or Afghan origin. (Possibly some are from India, but I doubt it). And both Germany and Belgium do NOT have a tradition of immigration from South Asia as Britain has.
What good is this doing to develop European cricket if the match between Germany and Belgium includes 21 South Asians and one Aussie? Particularly when practically all of these players would be unlikely to make any decent team in their own country?
And the German and Belgian sports fans would stick to watching their soccer, hockey or tennis players rather than cricket.
Tail piece: In the 3rd T20I Weston did not play so the match could well be described as German South Asians vs Belgian South Asians.