Patel hoping T20 final heroics will earn him England call
SAMIT PATEL expressed his “hurt” at being overlooked by England after delivering a standout reminder of his talents to selectors by inspiring Nottinghamshire to glory in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Patel, who says he has had no communication with the hierarchy since being unused for England’s tour of South Africa a little under two years ago, came to the crease in the final at Edgbaston with Notts in some trouble at 30-3 against Birmingham Bears.
He mixed maturity with brutality in his 64 not out from 42 balls and shared a 132-run stand alongside Brendan Taylor that helped the Outlaws to a 22- run win in front of a boisterous crowd in Birmingham.
Patel was never far from the action on Finals Day, including claiming the key wicket of Shahid Afridi in Nottinghamshire’s semifinal victory over Hampshire earlier in the day, but he was most impressed with his run out of Birmingham dangerman Ed Pollock, saying: “I’ve never hit the stumps before!”
And after starring in the win over Birmingham that sealed a domestic limited-overs double for Nottinghamshire, the 32-yearold was quick to remind England that he was still available.
He said: “I’d be disappointed if they didn’t watch that. Playing for England is the utmost best for me. I love playing for England. Every time I put on an England shirt I don’t think that I’ve let them down. You always put yourself out there. You’ve got to be the right man to do it on the day and luckily enough for me it was. I think class will always show regardless of what the situation is.”
He seemed to be particularly irked that he is seemingly not in contention in England’s limitedovers sides, having been a key player for Nottinghamshire in their T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup triumphs this year.
He added: “Yeah it has hurt, especially in the white-ball format. I’m an ambitious player. Putting on that England shirt, it means everything to me.
“They haven’t spoken to me since the South Africa trip that I went on and didn’t play. I have thought about picking up the phone but there’s only one winner there and it won’t go down well if I pick up the phone.”
Reflecting on Nottinghamshire’s success, he said: “We have a great team spirit. We win together and we lose together. We always play cricket to win, and win trophies. We have won two this year.”
Patel’s stand with Taylor lifted Notts to 190-4, a total that proved beyond Birmingham – despite Sam Hain’s 72 from 44 balls – as they responded with 168-8.
Notts’ former Engl;and coach, Peter Moores, said: Moores said: “He’s always been a really good player, there’s no doubt about that, but I think he’s found a new level of tempo and maturity whereby he’s becoming very consistent as a batter.
“I would say the same to Samit to any player: ‘your job’s to put the performances in, you can’t control whether they pick you or not’. I can hear his frustration at times because he’s played well, the key is to keep doing it.”
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