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Cricket World Cup: Ajmal Shahzad aims for England spot

Shazad sees off Smith
Shahzad took the wicket of Steve Smith in the ODI at the MCG on Sunday

Yorkshire pace bowler Ajmal Shahzad has staked his claim for a place in the England squad for February's World Cup.

The 25-year-old played in both of England's recent Twenty20 games against Australia and the opening one-day international in Melbourne.

He is now hoping the selectors will retain his services for the World Cup in South Asia.

"I'm a genuine wicket taker and at the death I can do them a job so fingers crossed," Shahzad told BBC Sport.

Shahzad, a former England Under-19 player, made an impressive debut to his senior Test career when he took four wickets in England's victory by an innings and 80 runs against Bangladesh at Old Trafford in June 2010.

The Yorkshireman, who went with England to Australia initially to play in the three Ashes warm-up matches and then join up with the performance squad, did not feature in the 3-1 Test series win, but he has been given his chance since.

In the two Twenty20 matches he managed just one wicket. It came in the second game at Melbourne Cricket Ground which England lost by four runs.

He had more success in Sunday's first one-day international at the same venue, although Australia won by six wickets with five balls to spare.

Shahzad took two catches in the game and the wicket of Steve Smith, luring him into a wild slash and having him caught by a diving Michael Yardy at short third man.

"I just play every game as if it is my last," Shahzad said afterwards. "I just want to give the best performance I can on that day.

"With me being a new boy in the team I'm going to get limited opportunities so I need to impress and show the selectors and coaches what I've got to offer."

England have another six one-day internationals against Australia and then start their World Cup preparation with a warm-up game against Canada at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on 16 February.


Setting his sights on the World Cup, Shahzad stated: "Hopefully they will see something in there that they like and that they think they can use in the sub-continent and the World Cup.

"I've tried to show them that I can be a lusty hitter at the bottom of the innings and I'm a genuine wicket taker early doors."

England's opening World Cup match is against the Netherlands on 22 February in Nagpur.

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see also
Aussies end England's winning run
14 Jan 11 |  England
England seal world record T20 win
12 Jan 11 |  England
Shahzad spell defeats Middlesex
25 Jul 10 |  Counties
Shahzad receives England ODI call
15 Jun 10 |  England
Ruthless England seal innings win
06 Jun 10 |  England
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket

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