Mascarenhas credits Warne
Dimitri Mascarenhas insisted he never gave up hope of receiving an England call-up after thanking Shane Warne for finally making it happen.
Warne has long been a fan of Mascarenhas but the Hampshire all-rounder never featured under England coach Duncan Fletcher's regime.
The nearest Mascarenhas came to international recognition was selection for England’s Hong Kong Sixes team.
But Mascarenhas believes Warne’s influence at Hampshire has made him a better player - and the reward finally came last week when he was included in England’s 14-man one-day squad.
Mascarenhas is now hoping to make his one-day international debut in Thursday’s NatWest international Twenty20 clash with West Indies.
“Shane is a good mate of mine and it is nice to have someone of that calibre think you are pretty good. He wouldn’t say it if he didn’t think it was true,” said Mascarenhas.
“I think I have become a better player since he has been at Hampshire and his guidance has helped me immeasurably in both my attitude and my approach to the game.
"He has helped develop my cricketing brain, my skills, plans - the sort of stuff I had not done a lot of previously. He has brought me a long way in the last few years.
“I have been mentioned quite a few times. In the past I was never in the hunt because I bowl at about 75mph and the former coach wanted bowlers at around 85mph.
“But I never gave up hope and I thought the new set-up gave me a little more of a chance.”
Mascarenhas’ opportunity has arisen largely because England are without injured all-rounders Andrew Flintoff and Ravi Bopara, who made a splash during the World Cup.
But the 29-year-old is determined to make the most of it.
“I think I am very lucky to get a chance with Andrew Flintoff and Ravi Bopara both being out. That has probably helped me get my call-up,” said Mascarenhas.
“If I perform it is a headache for the selectors so that is what I will try and do. And I love Twenty/20 cricket.”