Graham Napier out to prove selectors wrong
Graham Napier, the Essex allrounder, is determined to use the IPL as a chance to prove the England selectors were wrong for overlooking him for the preliminary 30-man World Twenty20 squad.
Napier couldn't find a place in the expanded group despite having been part of the squad for the previous tournament in England. He didn't earn a start during that event and still hasn't had a chance to show he can replicate his county form at the top level.
Napier is the highest English Twenty20 wicket-taker with 88 scalps in 63 matches and helped Central Districts qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 when he was their overseas player this season. In 2008 he hit an astonishing 152 against Sussex in the Twenty20 Cup which included a world record 16 sixes.
"I'm deeply disappointed not to be involved in the 30-man squad, having played well in Twenty20 cricket over the winter," Napier told his website, grahamnapier.com, after arriving in India to link with Mumbai Indians. "I am currently the leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket and have the ability to take the attack to the opposition with the bat if required. I feel Twenty20 is a form of the game that suits me well and the more experience I've gained in it the more effective I have become.
"There is an opportunity for me over the next few weeks - as one of only eight English players involved in the IPL - to show the England selectors what they are missing out on," he added. "But my job now is to focus on being as good a player I can be for Mumbai Indians, Essex and Central Districts. I have always been told that if you work hard you get your rewards so I need to keep doing that."
Napier, one of eight English players set to take part in the IPL, has travelled to India having received security assurances and is confident measures will be in place throughout the tournament.
"I was always scheduled to come on this date and it was just a case of the PCA working hard to get assurances from the IPL in terms of security," he said. "Having been involved with the Mumbai Indians last year I know the level of security they had out in South Africa. I felt comfortable the security would be at a high enough level to accommodate us here."