England's gain, Zimbabwe's loss

HARARE - Nick Compton’s selection into England’s Test squad for the upcoming tour of India has effectively ruled out the possibility of an international career with Zimbabwe for the top-order batsman.

The 29-year-old stylish opener — born in South Africa to a British father and Zimbabwean mother – revealed his intention to qualify for Zimbabwe during his impressive stint as an overseas professional for local side Mashonaland Eagles in 2010.

In an interview with the Daily News from the UK in May last year, the talented Somerset batsman, who is the grandson of the legendary English cricketer Denis Compton, admitted a career with Zimbabwe would somewhat make up for his snub by England’s selectors.

“It’s good to know that key people in Zim are conscious of the possible contribution I could make to Zim Cricket,” Compton said at the time.

“I was delighted to have made an impact during my stint with the (Mashonaland) Eagles last season. Depending on how life unfolds for me, I remain open to various possibilities, both inside and outside of the game. As you know, I love my cricket and for the moment I am grateful that I am fit and healthy and able to make the most of the opportunities I have immediately in front of me.”

As much as he was keen on representing his mother’s homeland, Compton did not completely rule himself out of an England call-up.   

“I’m hoping to play sufficiently well for them (Somerset) to deliver a first County Championship success and some one-day success too. We had a difficult start to the four-day season but have picked up a little since then, and our one-day cricket has been very effective so far,” he told this paper.
“Naturally, if I am able to play as well as I would like to, I hope that England selection can follow in the future. However, the England team is quite settled currently, but, as you know, life in sport can change quite quickly. "

“All I can do is keep working hard and refine the changes I made to my game during my enjoyable stint in Zim.”

Having averaged 99 in a stellar domestic season for Somerset, England selectors had no choice but to finally give him a first call-up to the senior team for the upcoming tour of India.

Batting at number three for Somerset, he struck 1 191 runs in county cricket in 2012, the most this year in England, and only narrowly missed out on becoming the first man for 24 years to reach 1 000 first-class runs by the end of May.

“There was a newspaper article the other day that didn’t mention my grandfather and it was one of the first times. I thought, ‘Wow, I must have made it on my own now,”’ Compton recently told the British media after being picked in England’s 16-man squad.

Compton said: “I’m just elated, really over the moon about it. It’s really something I’ve worked hard for all my life, so to get the recognition is special.

“Getting a senior call-up and the opportunity to play Test cricket is really a dream come true. I’ve experienced ups and downs in my career, but I’ve enjoyed plenty of success and, following on from the past two seasons, this is something I really want to build on.”

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