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Graham Napier out to prove selectors wrong

Cricinfo staff

March 2, 2010

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Graham Napier appeals for a wicket, Central Districts v Auckland, HRV Cup final, New Plymouth, January 31, 2009
Graham Napier has already helped Central Districts to the Champions League Twenty20 © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Paul_JT on (March 4, 2010, 19:33 GMT)

Much as I despair as to the point of 30 man squads. They simply create stories (such as this) about the fringe players rather than focussing on the core. It is difficult to understand the decisions of England selectors. Cook has already embarrassed them with his recent quick-fire 60. Napier only needs a score or five-for in the IPL. It would have been better to include them ahead of Saj Mahmood and Yardy, who are just as unlikely to make the final 15, and more importantly without cricket between now and the final squad announcement.

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (March 4, 2010, 8:46 GMT)

Napier is more of a bowler, and look at his List A and T20 stats as a bowler. An excellent average in both versions. I believe that she should be in the 30 member squad and even deserves a chance for England as a specialist T20 bowler. His good fielding and explosive (though inconsistent) batting is a big bonus

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 3, 2010, 22:33 GMT)

Why are half of the 30 man squad there if he isn't? It's another Ali Brown situation. when will they learn?

Posted by   on (March 3, 2010, 16:16 GMT)

hez a batter who bowls a bit.

Posted by   on (March 3, 2010, 16:15 GMT)

do well now. after all u r a Mumbai Indian now!!

Posted by sshailesh on (March 3, 2010, 12:32 GMT)

i had seen his inning of 16 sixes after that he dosent maintain consistancy event he got chance in last IPL but he dosent impress,

Posted by Big_Chikka on (March 3, 2010, 11:05 GMT)

Napier is a good cricketer, and should be in that England team. I wish him all the best and feel sure he will prove the selectors wrong. Good luck Napes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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