IPL pioneer happy to be back in the frame for England

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The Independent Online

Dimitri Mascarenhas said yesterday that he had feared his brief spell in the Indian Premier League would jeopardise his one-day future with England.

Shane Warne, a sometime team-mate at Hampshire, signed the all-rounder to play for the Rajasthan Royals as the first Englishman to feature in the IPL. He made one appearance for the eventual champions.

"It was a risk because I was missing cricket in England, I had to perform when I got back to put my name up to get another chance," said the Hampshire captain. "I spoke to [the England coach] Peter Moores and [selector] Geoff Miller and they said they had no problem with me going but they could not give me guarantees and performances would count.

"I don't feel like a pioneer, I simply had an opportunity to do something and jumped at it. I was very lucky, if it wasn't for Warney I would not have gone. It was brilliant and a shame I didn't play more but the team was on such a good roll I could not get in, and then I got injured."

Mascarenhas has been in form for Hampshire and the selectors have kept their word. He will be hoping to show he is more than a Twenty20 specialist in the forthcoming NatWest Series against New Zealand.

The 30-year-old will return to the IPL in 2009 and he believes, with the first Twenty20 World Cup being played in England next year, that it would be beneficial for other England players to follow him.

"It will help for the Twenty20 World Cup because most of the England guys have hardly played Twenty20," he said. "It is a lot different to playing anything else."