Grant Elliott is delighted to be forging an international career with his adopted country of New Zealand.
Elliott was born and raised in South Africa but left for New Zealand in 2001 and eventually qualified to represent the Black Caps in the same manner as Kevin Pietersen has done for England.
The 29-year-old all-rounder made his Test debut without much success against England in Napier last March, but a hamstring injury to Jacob Oram resulted in a call-up to the Kiwis' NatWest Series squad.
Elliott recorded bowling figures of 3-23 on his one-day international debut at Edgbaston last Wednesday and then registered a decisive half-century in the win at Bristol on Saturday to help level the five-game series at 1-1.
"To play regular international cricket is the aim of every first class cricketer," he said.
"I think a little bit of luck is involved. You can see that with my selection.
"I was playing for Weybridge in Division One of the Surrey League with the chance that someone in the New Zealand squad might get injured and suddenly I get called up and can fill a position.
"It was definitely a case of 'right place and the right time' and I feel fortunate. I love playing for New Zealand. It is an awesome feeling.
"When I played in the Test against England in the winter the moment was quite big for me, quite emotional, because it was something I always wanted to do as a child.
"I thought it was going to be with South Africa but now New Zealand is my country of choice. I love New Zealand and running on to the field for your country, there is no better feeling than that."
Elliott can remember doing battle with Pietersen as a youngster in South Africa.
"I played junior cricket against Kevin, colts, Under-19s and that kind of stuff," he reminisced.
"He used to bat at eight and bowl off-spin in those days.
"I think he has changed a little bit since then! He could hit a long ball even then. He still hits it now - but now he hits it consistently.
"There are a lot of South Africans who have moved to other countries and it is a matter of adapting to the culture if you decide to move and have a passion for playing."
Elliott looks certain to keep his place for the fourth one-day international at the Oval on Wednesday, even if Oram is fit to return.
"I was initially told I was with the squad until the Bristol game," he added.
"Now it is until Wednesday. I'm just taking it from game to game.
"We will see what happens in the next game because we have got a lot of talented players in the squad. Maybe with me being here does provide a couple of options and different combinations in the team."