'Gutted' Shahzad looks ahead
Injured Ajmal Shahzad told Sky Sports News that he was massively frustrated to be forced home from the World Cup.
Last Updated: 22/03/11 1:52pm
England seamer Ajmal Shahzad told Sky Sports News HD that he is "gutted" to have been ruled out of the World Cup through injury - but is confident that the squad he left behind can lift the trophy.
A dramatic win over West Indies in their final game in Group B helped England reach the knockout stages of the 50-over tournament.
Now Andrew Strauss' side face a daunting quarter-final showdown with Sri Lanka in Colombo on Saturday.
Shahzad would have been part of the squad for the game against the 1996 champions but was forced to return home due to a hamstring problem.
Asked if the injury was frustrating, the 25-year-old replied: "Massively. I was gutted because it's the biggest stage in the world, playing against the best teams and the best players. I wanted to show what I have to offer.
"It was nice to get the opportunity when I did, but I'm gutted to have got injured and be back home watching the guys on the box."
But, despite his personal disappointment, Shahzad believes England do have a squad capable of going all the way.
"We showed in the Ashes how formidable we are in Test cricket and everybody watched that and knows what we are capable of doing," he said.
"In one-day cricket we have a lot of the same players and we've got some fresh boys in there too as well as the experience.
"It's not only the 11, it's who is there in the ranks waiting for their chance.
"We are the best team in the world on our day and if we can fire, we'll come out on top. Most definitely.
"The boys have a hard two weeks in front of them but they could possibly get to a final. With that lingering in their thoughts they will be working toward that goal.
"If I was there I'd be thinking there is nothing better than to win a World Cup and come back with that and the Ashes in six months."
While England's players plot a way to complete a superb winter away with a World Cup triumph, Shahzad is now focused on the summer ahead.
Once back to full fitness, the Huddersfield-born bowler is aiming to impress in domestic action as he bids to win a place in the Test team.
"I haven't really tested it out yet but it's good to get a few days off and a bit of rest. Hopefully I'll be fit and firing in the next couple of weeks," he added.
"Hopefully I'm going to recover soon and then get back in the gym to work hard on my strength and fitness.
"Then I want to get back playing for Yorkshire, perform well for them and put my name in the hat for future England games.
"It's going to be difficult with the boys doing as well as they did in Australia, but all I can do is perform as best as I can, hopefully take a few wickets and stay fit and strength."