England, England Lions, Nottinghamshire, England Cricket Board XI, Rajshahi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Marylebone Cricket Club, Wellington, Kowloon Cantons, Islamabad United, Rajputs, Rotterdam Rhinos, Glamorgan, Qalandars
A left arm orthodox spinner and an attacking lower middle order batsman, Samit Patel had all it required to do well in the limited overs format of the game. In his early career, he represented the England Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 sides and was also awarded the Test Match Special Young Cricketer of the Year award in 2000, for his good show in the under 15 World Cup. He made his first appearance for Nottinghamshire's 2nd XI when he was just 14 and grew up the ranks at rapid pace to be included in the main side at the age of 16. Since then, he went on to become a regular in the County side, in both first class and List A matches. Patel got his chance to represent England's ODI team in 2008 when he was chosen to play against Scotland in August. Later that year, he showed glimpses of his talent with a Man of the Match performance against the visiting South Africans at The Oval. He picked up 5 for 41 and scored 31 runs as England won the match and clinched the series. However, his career was abruptly hindered by an increasing waistline as he was dropped for fitness reasons in 2009. He was included in the 30 man probables for the 2009 T20 World Cup but failed to make it to the final squad as he was yet to get back to acceptable shape. With England setting eyes on the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent, Samit Patel again came in the reckoning as his style of play suited the conditions. In a hope that he would get back to proper fitness, he was included in the 30-man probables. \"All we were saying was 'get into reasonable shape'. It didn't have to be perfect,\" said England's coach, Andy Flower. However, Patel once again failed to prove his fitness and was forced to sit out of the squad. He returned to the national squad after England's exit from the World Cup and was a regular in the team since Sri Lanka's tour of England in June, 2011. He played a few ODIs against India at home and also travelled to India and was fully part of the 5-match ODI series doing fairly well. However, he was in and out of the side soon after. He got his Test breakthrough during England's tour of Sri Lanka in 2012 and featured in both the games. He returned to the side again for the tour of India to play all three formats as the selectors trusted his spin to work out in the sub-continental conditions. He played the first three Test matches in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Kolkata respectively but was left out of the side for the Nagpur-leg before both the T20Is and the entire 5-match ODI series. Lack of performance forced the selectors to axe him out of the side and never played an ODI since the one against India at Dharamsala. However, he went to New Zealand a couple of months later and featured in a couple of T20Is but has since then been on the road. Patel spent a declining 2014 season with the bat, and the story continued in 2015, only for him to get a surprise call-up to the Test side for a series against Pakistan in UAE. He featured in the third and final Test at Sharjah, which Pakistan won, and Patel has never played Test cricket ever since. He, though, has had an impactful career ever since as the Nottinghamshire all-rounder. He was instrumental in Nottinghamshire claiming a white-balls double and a Division One promotion in the 2017 season. He scored 539 runs and took 9 wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup and accrued 405 runs and claimed 16 wickets in the NatWest T20 Blast, thus rightly going on to win the prestigious PCA Most Valuable Player award that ended a 30-year wait for a Notts player to have the honour.