Patel has foregone the opportunity to make a bit of extra cash in favour of setting his sights on securing a spot in England’s Test side:
“My biggest ambition is to play Test cricket and I need to score a high volume of runs in the County Championship to push my case. If I was selected for the IPL then I would miss several Championship matches and that won’t help me at a time when I need to do everything I can to impress the selectors.”
Whilst Patel’s decision will doubtless ingratiate him to Andy Flower and Geoff Miller, it’s hard to see Patel forcing his way into the England side.
Perhaps his best opportunity will come this winter, when England may deem it necessary to pick a second spinner in Sri Lanka and in the UAE against Pakistan. If so, England could replace a batsman with a spinner and move Matt Prior up to number six.
Patel isn’t in the same league as Monty Panesar as a bowler, but he does add more ballast to the batting, so it is conceivable that he has a chance – albeit just a morsel - of tucking into Test cricket.
So perhaps Patel’s sacrifice is a calculated move rather than a ridiculously optimistic one and his name will appear when the squad to tour the UAE is selected in the coming weeks.
Although given that we understand he has also pulled out of the Annual Nottingham Chapati Eating Contest to focus on being the slimmest cricketer on the county circuit come the start of next season, it would seem that Samit is a glass half full kind of guy.
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