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Time to capitalise on new opportunity

over 8 years ago | Uncategorised

The hard work and perseverance has paid a dividend. Now it's time to capitalise on new opportunity. That was the message from Nick Compton, who was making a determined effort today to keep his feet firmly on the ground despite the good news that informed him of a recall to the England squad after a 30-month absence for a tour of South Africa.

“I’m obviously pleased,” said the 32-year-old Middlesex batsman, who scored two centuries in his previous nine Test appearances as Alastair Cook’s opening partner, a run which ended in May 2013.

"I have refused to give up on my long-term dream to be a successful Test cricketer. I think everybody who knows me understands how challenging I found the past couple of years but I refused to give up hope and was determined to keep making runs to merit inclusion.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work to get back into the England squad. But now I’ve got another challenge. I’m out there to do a tough job, and I will give everything of myself to be a valuable asset to England's top order. I’m really focused on preparing well in order to to do the best job I possibly can.”

Compton received the call from James Whitaker, the National Selector, on Wednesday night.

“I knew I was under consideration, but the way things have panned out for the last couple of years I’ve probably erred on the side of caution in terms of managing expectations,” he explained. “I was hopeful and I was also prepared for the worst. That’s why it feels so great to have been given this new opportunity.”

Compton, who was born and raised in Durban, makes no effort to downplay the extra personal significance of heading for South Africa.

“I’m not one to hide my roots or my connection with two countries,” he said. “South Africa is very much a part of my heart. My family live there, I had a wonderful upbringing and I was lucky to be brought into the cricketing world by a father who is passionate and knowledgable about the game. I was fortunate to have had a good grounding through the Middlesex age group system and via Harrow School too. And now I have this chance to go back and play where it started.

“Obviously I know the opposition and the conditions, and to go there and have the chance to represent England in a Test Match would be a welcome challenge, against the number one team in the world. But I’ve got to get into the team first. As I’ve said many times before, the quality of preparation always precedes top performance so I am focused on my game and fitness now.”

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