England field 11 English players in an Ashes Test for the first time in 29 years

The last time England played a Test with all the 11 players born in England was way back in December 2003.

England team
England team. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The England Test team is well known for fielding players born outside Britain especially the South African players, who early in their life moved to England searching for better career opportunities and that helped them play cricket at the highest level.

In the last couple of decades, the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss are among the most popular players from South Africa who featured in the England Test side. In recent times Gary Ballance and Sam Robson who were born in Zimbabwe and Australia respectively have represented them as well.

Even England’s premier all-rounder, Ben Stokes was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. However, the 26-year-old was suspended by the board for his involvement in a street brawl recently. This put Stokes out of England’s touring squad for the Ashes series in Australia and they took the field in the first Test at Brisbane with all the 11 players born in England.

Thus the visiting side created a rare instance in their recent history of playing a Test with all the members who were born in the country.

England playing XI in the Brisbane Test against Australia, 2017:

Prior to this game, the last time England played a Test with all the 11 players born in England was way back in December 2003 against Sri Lanka in Galle. In this near 14-year span, they played 176 Test matches with at least one player who wasn’t born in England. Their streak began with Nasser Hussain, a player of an Indian origin who was included in the squad for the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka in 2003.

England XI in the Galle Test against Sri Lanka, 2003:

The Brisbane Test is only the fourth Test match for England in the last 29 years where they played with all 11 players born in England. Couple of games before the Galle Test in 2003, England had ended their 157-match streak of featuring at least one foreign born player. They fielded with players all British born players against South Africa in The Oval Test.

England XI in the Oval Test against South Africa, 2003:

In July 1989, England took the field in Birmingham in the Ashes game with all 11 players born in the homeland. In the 157 Tests after this, they had at least one player born outside Britain. The Birmingham game was also the last one for them in the Ashes with all 11 Brits. As a result, the Gabba Test match turned out to be first such instance for the England team in 76 Ashes Tests.

England XI in the Birmingham Test against England, 1989: