Jeetan Shashi Patel
May 07, 1980, Wellington
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
The son of Indian parents, but born and brought up in Wellington's eastern suburbs, offspinner Jeetan Patel was fast-tracked into the New Zealand side after John Bracewell, the national coach at the time, identified his promise.
That was no surprise: Patel had taken a five-wicket haul against Auckland on his first-class debut in early 2000 and played a role in Wellington winning the 2000-2001 Championship in the next season. They won again in 2003-04 and were runners up in 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2005-06.
While Patel probably never fulfilled his ability on the international stage, he developed into a highly effective bowling all-rounder at domestic level and has enjoyed a particularly successful spell as a long-term overseas player for Warwickshire, for whom he has produced much of his best cricket. At the end of the 2014 English domestic season - a season in which he had rejected an approach from New Zealand to resurrect his international career - he was named the Most Valuable Player in county cricket.
It was a return of 6 for 32 against Otago in the last State Championship match of 2004-05 that propelled him into international cricket. Bracewell took him to Zimbabwe for a one-day tournament in August 2005. He played nine ODIs during the season, but in eight was either the super-sub or the subbed-out player; his batting - at that stage - offered little. At home his 2 for 23 from ten overs throttled Sri Lanka at Wellington, and won him the man-of-the-match award, then three wickets at Christchurch helped subdue West Indies. All this put Patel in line for a first Test cap, which came against South Africa at Cape Town in April 2006.
He performed more than respectably - a five-wicket haul against West Indies at Napier in late 2008 was a highlight - but, with Daniel Vettori's presence limiting opportunities, Patel was generally reduced to the role of substitute or second spinner. He played only six home Tests - in each of them he was second spinner to Vettori - and when he finally had a chance to stake a claim as first choice, he struggled against India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. When New Zealand were thrashed by South Africa - they were bowled out for just 45 in Cape Town - with Patel bowled backing away, it seemed his time was up.
But whatever his struggles in international cricket, he proved an inspired choice as overseas player for Warwickshire. After scoring a maiden century on first-class debut for the club in 2009, he returned for every season afterwards except 2010, claiming 185 first-class wickets for the side up to the end of 2014 at an average of just 27.12 and contributing nearly 1,500 runs, too, at an average of nearly 29. He played a huge role in Warwickshire's Championship success of 2012, their T20 success of 2014 and took them within sight of a double of that season with an outstanding spell of bowling against Durham in the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord's. He finished with 107 wickets in all competitions that year and turned down a recall to the New Zealand squad for the Caribbean tour to ensure he maintained his excellent relationship with Warwickshire. They responded by extending his contract until the end of 2016.
Patel duly paid them back with 69 wickets to top the bowling charts for the season. He subsequently made a comeback to the national side when he was picked for the tour of India in September of that year and filled in for the injured Mark Craig for the second Test at Eden Gardens in his first appearance for his country in over three years.
In March the following year, Patel played his first Test at the Basin Reserve, his home ground, against South Africa. Two months later, he played his final match for New Zealand, an ODI against Bangladesh in Dublin. Though he made it to New Zealand's squad for the Champions Trophy, he did not play a game. Shortly after the tournament ended, Patel called time on his international career, making his announcement shortly after Luke Ronchi, his team-mate at the state and national levels, did.
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