Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England have recalled all-rounder Samit Patel as a replacement for uncapped Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari ahead of the upcoming tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they will play Pakistan.
Ansari was set to make his international debut next month, but dislocated his thumb while representing Surrey the very same day he received his call-up to the national team.
Patel, whose last Test for England came against India in December 2012, was unable to hide his delight at being selected, but admitted that it was a shame to have come in these circumstances.
“I’m surprised, really. It’s pretty unfortunate what’s happened to Zafar, but I’m thrilled to bits,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve got to try to make the most of it when I’m out there. I’ve not had the best of years, but we’ll have to move on from that and I’ll have to make the most of the opportunity.”
National selector James Whitaker added: “The timing of this injury, on the day his selection was announced, was particularly cruel for Zafar and he is naturally extremely disappointed to have to pull out of the tour.
“The ECB and Surrey medical staff will supervise his rehabilitation closely and we all hope that he will be able to take up his place in the EPP and Lions squads for their trips to UAE later in the year.
“As a left-arm spinner and a middle-order batsman, Samit is a similar type of player to Zafar and his previous international experience, and in particular, experience of performing for England in sub-continental conditions will be an extremely useful asset to the squad in the UAE.”