Kaneria ponders joining England team: Reports

Published: Friday, July 18, 2008, 17:44 [IST]
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Bangalore: Pakistan's leg spinner Danish Kaneria has said he will consider settling in England if he is not selected for Pakistan team.

"I may consider playing for England at one stage if Pakistan are not picking me," Kaneria told the Colchester Gazette. "I am 27 and a proper legspinner gets his real class when he is 32 - Shane Warne got to his 30s and was bowling out every team, so I have plenty of years to go," said Kaneria, who is currently playing county cricket for Essex.

However, he said he was yet to decide on his next more. "I don't know what will happen and will see how Pakistan cope with me," he said. "If England wanted me to play and do something for them I would think it over."

Though Pakistan did not include him in the list of 30 probables for the Pakistan squad ahead of the Champions Trophy, Kaneria remained optimistic.

"I didn't hear anything from Pakistan. I'm doing well and taking wickets and would like to play one-day cricket for Pakistan again," he said. "I have not given up and want to get my place back in the team. I play well in each form of the game but when Pakistan don't pick me it is up to the media to ask the selectors why."

As per rules, Kaneria would be eligible to play for England if he satisfies two clauses: he gains British citizenship (which requires him to have spent at least seven months annually living in England over a four-year period) and that he does not play for and in Pakistan (at the domestic level) during that time.

Kaneria has not represented Pakistan in the current season, and was reprimanded by the board in April for criticising the Board after he was demoted to category C in Pakistan's centrally contracted players' list. He was in the Pakistan team in their most recent Test, against India in December, and made the last ODI appearances in the 2007 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Kaneria told his words were misquoted and he wanted to play for Pakistan as long as possible. "I did not say that I wanted to stay over here (and qualify to play for England)," Kaneria told the Essex website. "I still want to play for Pakistan and my state side there. My priority is with Pakistan for as long as they need me in Test cricket.

"In fact I am always there for them in any form of the game - Pakistan has given me the name to be playing cricket in England. If ever Pakistan didn't select me for three to four years in a row in any form of cricket then, and only then, would I think about coming over here (on a permanent basis)."


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