London, Sep 24 (IANS) All-rounder Samit Patel has been recalled to the England Test squad for next month’s tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to play Pakistan as a replacement for the injured Zafar Ansari.
Ansari injured his left thumb just hours after getting a surprise call-up to the England squad last week. The 23-year-old was selected as a third spinner for England behind Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, suffered an “open dislocation” to his thumb while fielding for Surrey against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
“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,” England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) national selector James Whitaker was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“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.”
Speaking after his call-up, Patel, who has played five Tests, said he thought his England chance had gone.
“I was not expecting a Test call. I thought the door was closed on Test cricket. It’s unfortunate for Zafar but I have to make the most of it,” said the 30-year-old.