Cricket: SAMIT SET TO CASH IN; THE pounds 20m CHALLENGE Flying Swann's form is boost for pal Patel.
SAMIT PATEL admits he may have 750,000 reasons to thank Graeme Swann next week if he gets to play his part in a EUR20million England win.
Patel would not be anywhere near the England team if it wasn't for Nottinghamshire club-mate Swann and he may end up three quarters of a million dollars better off because of it.
If Patel plays in the Stanford cash bonanza in the West Indies next Saturday and Swann doesn't, the gap in reward is huge. There is still money available for the squad players if they win, but instead of a million all to yourself it is split between the four '12th men'.
Swann had been the senior spinner to Patel throughout his career until now, with the 23-year-old playing a starring role in the recent 4-0 one-day win over South Africa.
But it was only because of Swann's call-ups for England that Patel's left-arm spin began to flourish for Notts.
Patel explained: "It wasn't a surprise that Swanny was picked up by England again because we all knew how good a bowler he was.
"The interesting thing for me though was that when he got those call-ups it left more overs for me to bowl at Notts which has proved to be really good for me.
"Those opportunities definitely allowed me to become more successful for the club and now for England, and in truth Swanny inspired me to get this far.
"Him playing for England made me even more hungry to want to play. Obviously you have a dream to play for England from a young age and that desire burned in me more and more."
And despite creating more competition for himself, Swann had no hesitation in trying to help Patel make the most of his talent - even though he needed some convincing.
"When Samit first came in to the side he was very much a batter and a batter only," said Swann.
"Everyone used to tell him to work on his bowling but he didn't take it too seriously.
"I tried to drill into him just how good a bowler he could be, but he had to work at it and put in the time and effort to get himself to the level he is now.
"With me then going away with England it put the onus on him to bowl spin in the Notts team so he had to work on it and he's done that diligently."
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GOLD DIG Samit Patel gets a hug from Luke Wright after bagging another South African wicket. Inset: Graeme Swann