Michael Vaughan wants South Africa-born cricketers to be disallowed from playing for England. The former England cricket captain said yesterday that he had "a bit of a problem" with South African cricketers switching nationalities to play for England and added: "I would like to see, in an ideal world, 11 complete Englishmen in the team."
Vaughan added that he could understand, to some extent, why Kevin Pietersen might be allowed to play for England, because he had not represented South Africa at any level before switching. He said the same was not true with Jonathan Trott and Craig Kieswetter. Ironically, in a separate part of a forum discussion, when speaking about the current form of England's batsman, Vaughan added: "The one that should be dropped at the moment is the biggest name... Kevin Pietersen."
Vaughan was speaking in London at the launch of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, an ambitious bursaries and mentoring programme funded by the British car maker. A stellar cast of patrons includes Sir Ian Botham (who shared the stage with Vaughan), David Beckham, Sir Steven Redgrave, Dame Kelly Holmes, Gareth Edwards and Denise Lewis. They were all at yesterday's launch except Beckham who sent a video message. Vaughan was there as one of the programme's sport ambassadors; others in attendance included the head of British cycling Dave Brailsford, the former Formula One driver Martin Brundle, and the world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
Vaughan said that imports playing for England had happened "for many, many years. It's a very tricky one. Someone like Kevin Pietersen made the decision very early to come over to England and he learnt a lot of his cricket here.
"[But] I do have a problem when the likes of Jonathan Trott [play for England], and [Craig] Kieswetter, who's played for the South African Under-19s. I think in Trott's case even played for the South African 'A' team. Now that is where I have a problem, that we have almost got a 'ship-in' system of looking at talent, and a lot of them come over for the money.
"It's very, very difficult to stop them. I would like to see, in an ideal world, 11 complete Englishmen in the team but I don't think that's ever going to be the case."
Botham said he had no problem with imports. "These guys have made their home here to play for England and I don't have a problem with that," he said. "The biggest problem for me in England is Kolpak, and that's down to European law. What the Europeans have got to do with it, I don't know. They don't like cricket."