Samit Patel is set to forgo a lucrative contract in the Indian Premier League in a bid to win a place in the England Test team.
The Nottinghamshire all-rounder’s representatives held talks with several franchises ahead of the auction to decide who will play where.
But with just hours to go until the deadline to enter the bidding process, Patel declared himself unavailable in the hope that eye-catching performances at home are more likely to aid his long-term plans.
He said: “My biggest ambition is to play Test cricket and I need to score a high volume of runs in the County Championship to push my case.
“If I was selected for the IPL then I would miss several Championship matches and that won’t help me at a time when I need to do everything I can to impress the selectors.
“I have listened to the advice from people I trust and it is clear that this decision is the right one to have made for cricket reasons.
“The IPL is an exciting tournament and I would like to be involved in it in the future – but not to the detriment of my England ambitions.”
Patel was one of the few bright spots on England’s recent one-day tour of India, which saw them whitewashed 5-0 by their hosts.
He contributed 160 runs at an average of 40, including an unbeaten 70 from 48 balls in the third match at Mohali. His left-arm spin claimed 3 for 57 in the final game in Kolkata and was again significant in the tourist’s Twenty20 victory.
Patel’s Notts team-mate Graeme Swann remains an automatic choice as England’s number one spinner in the longer form of the game.
But the Leicester-born Patel is convinced he can complement the senior pro and challenge the likes of Monty Panesar and Scott Borthwick should conditions require further spin options.
He added: “I have to get my team-mate out of the way first! I don’t think I can do that so I will have to play behind him as a second spinner.
“I think me and Swanny go well together and if England need a second spinner, hopefully I can be the one to do the job.
“I missed three years of international cricket and that’s probably my fault. But I loved every minute of getting back in and wearing the Three Lions. You can’t really ask any more.”
The IPL’s loss will be Nottinghamshire’s gain, with the Trent Bridge side scheduled to play seven LV= County Championship matches before the end of May.
Notts director of cricket Mick Newell said: “Samit has got himself back into England’s limited-overs team but he feels he can become a Test match regular and it goes without saying that scoring a high volume of runs will help him achieve his ambition.
“Staying away from the IPL this year is a mature decision and one that we hope will benefit Samit’s career and improve our prospects in the Championship.”
Patel’s decision mirrors that of fellow England fringe player Ravi Bopara, who turned down a deal with Rajasthan Royals earlier this year in order to maximise his county appearances at Essex ahead of the summer’s first Test.