Stanford money no motivation for Patel
Samit Patel insists advancing his career – not prize money – is his only concern in the forthcoming Stanford Super Series.
The Notts player stands to earn a cool $1m if he is part of a winning England team in the showpiece clash against a West Indies 'Stanford Superstars' XI.
But the 23-year-old says his only concern with the tour – that will also see matches against English Twenty20 Champions Middlesex and Trinidad and Tobago – is to improve his chances of becoming an England regular.
Patel became the 207th and latest player to make his one-day international debut against South Africa in the summer.
And now the batting all-rounder is determined to cement his place in skipper Kevin Pietersen's plans ahead of the tour to India in November and December.
"It's a lot more than money to me. I just want to play for the England team and be involved with a team that wins games," said Patel. If we were to win the Stanford 20/20 for 20 [the main game], the money certainly wouldn't change my approach to cricket"
"The people who know me well enough know that I love playing cricket and always will do, whether it be for England, Notts or with Kimberley in the local leagues. If there is a game going, I want to be playing in it."
"I think the Indian tour for me is more important. I am going to get the chance to show what I can do there on pitches that will not be that helpful to the seamers. I would expect Swanny [Graeme Swann] and myself to play a big role there and it will be an important time for me."
"There is a pecking order to get in the England team, but it is all about making the most of your opportunity when you get one – and hopefully I can do that."
Patel flew out to Antigua yesterday ahead of England's first match against Middlesex tomorrow.
He is relishing getting back into the action after last playing competitively for Notts in their County Championship defeat of Hampshire in September.
Patel said: "I'm raring to go. It is an exciting new competition and everyone is going to be watching it. It is the start of a big 12 months of cricket with England that includes this, a tour of India and West Indies and then the Ashes against the Aussies next summer."
"There is a lot of hard work to be done during that time, so we can't look too far ahead, especially to the Ashes. But it is all about building a side over a period of time that can perform on all fronts."
There is a strong Notts contingent making their way out to the Caribbean, with Patel being joined by Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
He feels the presence of his team-mates is going to make what is his first tour that much easier.
"It's going to be brilliant having the other lads around who I know – like a home away from home," said Patel. "I played with Broady and Swanny for England last summer, which I enjoyed, and I aim to do the same this time, win or lose. This is my first proper tour with the full England team and I can't wait. I just have to make sure it is a successful one."