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Udal happy in bit-part role

Shaun Udal, the 36-year-old Hampshire spinner recalled to the England squad, has said he will be happy not to play a significant role in this winter's tour to Pakistan.
"Hopefully I can go there and do a job for them in whatever capacity I'm needed," Udal told Sportinglife. "In a way, hopefully I won't be selected to play because that will mean England are winning and Ashley Giles is fit and everything is going swimmingly well.

"I possibly thought the chance had gone but one of my strengths is that I believe in myself. I'm probably a better cricketer than I was when I last played, with experience comes the nous and the knowhow."

Udal was born in 1969, at a time when England possessed the dangerous and aptly nicknamed "Deadly" Derek Underwood. Indeed, Underwood was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1969. Udal's recall has increased the debate of England's decades-long dearth of quality spinners and, while he is the form spinner in the country, his selection came ahead of younger rivals such as Gareth Batty and Graeme Swann. Udal, while delighted with his recall, readily admits that he is coming to the end of his career:

"I know my career's coming into its last five years, so what's the point in standing still? I love my cricket, it means as much to me as anything in the world. To get this chance now is one that I'll try to take with both hands - if it's only for this tour or the next six months or two years."

Udal was grateful to his Hampshire team-mate Shane Warne for the assistance. "Operating as a second spinner is what I've done for the last two years at Hampshire with Warney at the other end," he told reporters. "He brings more than just his bowling: his cricket brain, his enthusiasm, his passion - it's rubbed off on me.

"Warney is just from a different planet, he sees things other people don't see as a captain and has helped me with my bowling. He is not just a good friend, he's been an enormous help to me. He teaches people to respect the game, respect the opposition and never fear them."