I only mention Greig, Lamb and Pietersen because they represent the latest example of sporting plasticity – in cricket, as it happens. But shouldn’t I include Strauss? At what age or after how long ‘on probation’ should an immigrant become eligible for national honours? This is a general question about all nationalities – although I don’t suppose many countries want former Brits to represent them (corrections please on high-value negotiable instruments).
Backside reckons under the age of ten would be about right. More than six years in a British school should remove any stubborn veneer of foreignness – you know, unsporting behaviour, a tendency to rat on mates, re-emigrating to the Antipodes – that kind of thing.
Such a rule would mean we could keep Mo Farah too – but have you noticed? We soon forget their roots when they really please us?