Bopara wants England chance and hopes silverware with Essex will help
12:30 19 August 2015
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30-year-old targets winning the Royal London Cup to aid his aim of being selected for England’s ODI series with Australia next month
Ravi Bopara still harbours ambitions of being selected for England again and hopes more success in the Royal London Cup can help his cause.
Essex play their final group B match in that competition this afternoon against Sussex at Hove, a 2pm start, looking to earn another win which would seal a home tie in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
In the seven matches Paul Grayson’s side have played so far they have been victorious in four, lost two and had one no result.
Bopara has been a leading figure for the Eagles in the competition and scored 284 runs at an average of 94.66.
He has taken eight wickets as well including 4-31 in a stunning display against Lancashire last month where the England international smashed 101 not out to earn Essex a seven-wicket triumph.
But the 30-year-old has missed out on selection for the England side recently and last featured for them in their World Cup match against Afghanistan in March.
Although he picked up 2-31 in that fixture, he has been overlooked since, but remains as determined as ever to force his way back into the plans of the selectors.
“I definitely want to be selected for England. I hope I am involved again because my record in the Royal London Cup has been very good with both bat and ball,” said Bopara.
“I said at the start of the season, I want to get back in that England side and that is it – that is my aim. It has always been my aim.
“Unfortunately we are not going to get promoted in the County Championship this year by the looks of it, but we have a potential quarter-final tie coming up in the Royal London Cup.
“It is important that we win that and gain something from this year. We want to play in a Lord’s final, it means a lot to these boys.
“The Royal London Cup is a big competition for us now considering we are out of the NatWest T20 Blast so this is a big one for us.”
Although Bopara, who has played 120 ODI’s for his country, may be focused on winning back his England place and delivering silverware for Essex, he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
The former Brampton Manor School pupil started his cricket career playing in the Essex League with Hainault & Clayhall and was back at their Oakfield home recently watching a match.
“I am always around with the Hainault & Clayhall boys. Whenever I have a free Saturday I try to turn up,” added Bopara.
“Obviously I can’t play. I’d love to play for them every week but I can’t and I have got to be making sure I am spending time with my family. We spend so much time away from home, I need to make sure I am spending time with my family.”
Even though family is a priority for Bopara, he’d love another England call and he’ll be doing his upmost to achieve that.