ECB increase qualification period
The qualification period for cricketers born overseas to play for England has been extended from four years to seven.
The new regulation is to apply to all male cricketers who begin residence in England after their 18th birthday. For those who start to live in this country before they are 18, the period of qualification will be four years.
The England and Wales Cricket Board published an amendment to the regulations for qualification, stipulating the extra period of residence, effective as of April 25 2012.
England have fielded a succession of cricketers, in recent years, born abroad but who qualified to be capped by their adoptive country under the four-year rule.
South Africa-born Kevin Pietersen, for example, produced his 2005 Ashes-clinching heroics at The Oval five years after beginning his county career with Nottinghamshire.
The amendment cannot be applied retrospectively and contains a caveat for ECB discretion to reduce the residence period to four years for prospective players who either hail originally from a country which is a non-International Cricket Council full member or who arrived in England before April 25.
That may potentially apply to, among others, Irish players hoping to follow in the footsteps of Dublin-born Middlesex and England batsman Eoin Morgan.