First-class cricket has played a huge role in gifting nations some of their best future stars who achieved global recognition. Be it England, Australia, India, or any nation, domestic cricket has often had the reputation of developing great players who are then drafted into the first senior team.
However, do you have any idea about the players who achieved so much but yet couldn't feature for their nation in a single international game? Well, Cricwizz will have a look at some players who could've entered the list of elite superstars but couldn't for various reasons.
Don Shepherd (England)
The Welshman was a phenomenal bowler and played cricket between 1950 and 1972. However, lack of opportunities and the availability of other spinning talents kept Shepherd away from international cricket.
He holds the record for most wickets (2218), more than any other uncapped player. He switched from fast bowling to bowling off-breaks at a pace higher than usual off-break delivery.
Shepherd had the skill to produce cherishable performances even on pitches that weren't suiting the bowlers much. He was also named the Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1970.
Had he been a great bowler at the global level? Sadly, we won't know.
Johann Myburgh (South Africa)
Born in South Africa, Myburgh also had dreams of representing New Zealand on the world stage. However, he then migrated to the UK, where he played County cricket. It was the early 2000s when Johann attracted the spotlight. Alongside Jacques Rudolph, who did play international cricket, Myburgh played over 100 first-class games, with 118 List A appearances but he still wasn't deemed worthy of an international cap.
A top-order, explosive batsman, and ahead of his time, Myburgh, had he played international cricket, especially T20Is, things could've been different. The presence of some renowned Proteas players Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs also played an important role in Myburgh getting pushed out of the international scene.
To add to his misery, a young and talented Graeme Smith was already prepared to take over the top-order if anything went off the plan.
Johann Myburgh stats
Sheldon Jackson (India)
Another cricketer who wasn't awarded with any opportunities, Sheldon Jackson's record as a player is too good. A wicket-keeper batsman who played for Saurashtra from 2006 to 2019 and is now a part of the Puducherry squad in the Ranji Trophy, Jackson has over 5600 First-class runs.
He was also a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad from 2009 to 2013 before he was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a year.
He then returned to KKR and is still a part of the franchise. A consistent player, an above-par wicket-keeper but you may wonder why he still hasn't made his debut in international cricket. Jackson is another case of how too much competition can lead to some decent players not getting an opportunity to prove themselves on the grand stage.
India already has the likes of Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, KL Rahul, while the latest addition has been Ishan Kishan, all of them having so many years left under their belt, something that Jackson doesn't have.
Maybe an opportunity or two at least could've helped him to express his skills better.
Sheldon Jackson Stats
Jamie Cox (Australia)
Another opener with such a coveted domestic career, Cox couldn't pave a way into the Australian side but is a former member of Cricket Australia's National Selection Committee.
He played for Tasmania in the Australian domestic competitions and was also a part of the Somerset side he captained. Looking at his record, he not only has runs with him but he was also a player who had great longevity.
It's astounding how he never featured for Australia in a single competitive game, perhaps his addition would've made Australians stronger than what they already were.
Jamie Cox Stats
Amol Muzumdar (India)
It's hysterical how the world could've had so many great batsmen to witness but they stayed limited to domestic cricket only. Amol is one such example. Another performer with runs galore once held the record for most runs in the Ranji Trophy. However, Wasim Jaffer later surpassed him.
Several reports suggest that politics was one of the reasons why Amol couldn't make it to the India side because statistically, he deserved it by all means, and any batsman with such a record currently, would at least get more attempts to prove their talent and charisma.
Muzumdar featured for Mumbai from 1993 to 2009, followed by Assam and Andhra Pradesh from 2009 to 2011 and 2012 to 2013 respectively.
He was also a schoolmate with Sachin Tendulkar and played under coach Ramakant Achrekar as well. Another intriguing fact about his bond with Sachin is that he also witnessed Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli's then-record of 664 unbeaten runs, and was about to bat next.
His 260 against Haryana on the first-class debut was a world record until 2018 when Ajay Rohera broke it. He was also a part of India A multiple times and shared the dressing room with the likes of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.
With so much experience, it is safe to say that he surely deserved a go at the international level. Not to forget, he was also a good leader and was the vice-captain of India U-19 side on the tour of England.
Amol Muzumdar stats
Wasim Jaffer, the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy cricket was the first batsman to cross 11,000 runs in the Ranji Trophy. He scored 19,410 runs in first-class cricket and also featured for India in 31 tests, scoring 1,944 runs. He represented Mumbai from 1996 to 2015 before he joined Vidarbha to continue until he retired in March 2020.
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