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November 3, 2009
Sajid Mahmood, the Lancashire fast bowler, is keen to prove he is a more consistent performer after being included in England's one-day and Twenty20 squads for the tour of South Africa.
Mahmood, 27, who has taken 29 wickets in his 25 one-day internationals since his debut in 2004, is desperate to cement his place in the team. His last appearance for England was during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and he's been unable to make it past Lions duty since then. Until now.
"I've been waiting for over two years now and to get the call-up for the tour was fantastic," Mahmood said. "I've been working really hard in them two years, trying to put things right and everything's worked out pretty well for Lancashire. So I'm really looking forward to getting on with it.
"I think the main reason I got sort of dropped from the international side was consistency - a lot of up and downs. I've now had over two years out of the [international] game, playing county cricket and away from the spotlight if you like.
"I could reflect on what I did and where I needed to be. The massive thing was consistency, so I've gone back and worked on hitting certain areas with my bowling and trying to perform a lot more consistently and just doing stuff on a regular basis. That's the main things I've worked on and it's sort of shown over the last couple of years, that improvement. So hopefully I can carry on working on that and get better at it."
England begin their tour with a warm-up match against the Eagles on November 6 in Bloemfontein and have two more practice games ahead of the first Twenty20 international against South Africa in Johannesburg on November 13.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.