Samit Patel has admitted his “hurt” after being overlooked by England’s selectors.
Man of the Match as Nottinghamshire won the NatWest Blast final at Edgbaston, Patel insisted he was “ready” for an England recall and suggested he would “be disappointed” if the selectors were not watching his Edgbaston performance.
Having last played limited-overs cricket for England in early 2013, Patel believes he is a much-improved player with something to offer in all formats. But the lack of contact he has had with the selectors – he says there has been none at all since returning from South Africa as a non-playing member of the tour party in early 2016 – has left him considering phoning those involved to see what more he can do.
“I love playing for England,” Patel said. “It means the utmost to me. I don’t think that I’ve let them down when I’ve pulled on an England shirt.
“The selectors haven’t spoken to me since the South Africa trip that I went on and didn’t play.
“And yes, that has hurt. I’m not going to lie to you, especially, in the white-ball format. I’m an ambitious player. You shouldn’t play for Notts if you don’t want to play for England in my opinion. Putting on that England shirt… it means everything to me.
“I have thought about picking up the phone, but there’s only one winner there. It won’t go down well if I pick up the phone. The only way I can get back in is by putting in performances like today.
“I’d be disappointed if they didn’t watch that. It should have put my name back in the shop window.”
Coming to the crease with Nottinghamshire in trouble at 30 for 3, Patel made an unbeaten 65 – his third half-century this season – to lead his side to a total of 190. He was also second on the Nottinghamshire averages when they won the Royal London One-Day Cup – 67.37 with two centuries and three half-centuries – and has scored more runs (824 at an average of 68.66) than anyone else in their Championship campaign. Based on that, his suggestion that he is, aged 32, playing better cricket in all formats seems well founded.
“I know my game much more now,” he said. “I’m a different player. The tempo of my batting has improved this year. Class will always show.
“Don’t even count me out of Test cricket. I know I’m ready. If the selectors ring me, I’m ready.”
Meanwhile Ashley Giles, the Warwickshire director of sport, expressed his “pride” in his new-look Birmingham side and suggested they will be able to build on their recent success next year. In particular, he celebrated the progress made by his young top-order – three of whom have come into the side during the campaign – and their success in reaching the final in what is clearly a transitional season.
“I’m proud that we got close and think there are some really good signs for us,” Giles said. “The four guys at the top of the order have come in and done really good things. I’m proud we’ve been able to make that transition.
“There was no fear in the way we played. We need to continue in that mode. The game is moving that way.
“So yes, this will change the way we play 50-over cricket. We are playing a more modern game now and we’ve seen the more successful sides – Notts and Surrey, for example – just take it on. We’ve got to be prepared to do that.
“You look at the way Ed Pollock played in the semi-final. He batted beautifully. I just hope he keeps batting in the same way. With experience and baggage people tend to change. I hope he just keeps playing with that freedom.”