London, May 6 (UNI) Declining a six-figure contract from an unnamed IPL franchise, all-rounder Ravi Bopara said he was tempted by the money on offer but put his country first and wants to regain and establish his place in the England team.
''Of course when figures like these are put in front of you it is tempting, but my goal is to play regularly for England so I am confident that if I continue to score runs and take wickets for Essex then I will hopefully play for England this summer and for many years to come,'' Bopara told PA Sport.
The 23-year-old is not centrally contracted to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and is thus free to sign on with the IPL if Essex (the county team for which he is playing currently) agrees.
However, he asserted that if he was picked for the national team, he will try to extend his good form in county cricket to the international arena and the money will follow automatically.
''If I do this, and with the current talk of new competitions and one off matches to sit alongside the IPL, then I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the financial benefits in years to come,'' he added.
Bopara has enjoyed a superb start to the county season, with 150 and 137 in the Championship and 99 in the Friends Provident Trophy.
Six wickets at 18.00 are a boost to his hopes of a comeback to the national team, after he was dropped on returning from a forgetable tour of Sri Lanka last year.
Dimitri Mascarenhas was the only England player participating in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
Middle-order batsman Kevin Pietersen and pace bowler Ryan Sidebottom, have also expressed interest in signing on in the future.
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