ON THE day Michael Vaughan called time on his cricket career because he was no longer in England's best 16, another recent discard was setting his sights on a recall.
Owais Shah would have good reason for thinking his Test career, like Vaughan's, has effectively been written off following a disappointing series in the West Indies last winter.
Omitted from both England's provisional 16-man Ashes squad and the England Lions team facing Ricky Ponting's men this week, in favour of younger players, the former Wycombe House batsman appears well and truly out in the cold.
However, the 30-year-old's majestic 159 for Middlesex against arch rivals Surrey at Lord's on Tuesday sent a clear message to Geoff Miller: Shah is not ready to be pensioned off or consigned to the international scrap heap.
Coincidentally, Shah is drawing inspiration from the man who shifted him from the England number three spot, Ravi Bopara, as he looks for a route back into the Ashes battle.
He said: "I've got to do a little bit of what Ravi Bopara did. He had a brief start in the Test side and didn't do very well, but went away and got a load of runs and got himself back in the picture. It's frustrating to be in the position I'm in when we are on the verge of an Ashes series, but that's just timing and I don't control those things so I try not to worry about it I know what I can do and I just need to keep performing."
Shah's 23 fours in Tuesday's century, his highest score at Lord's since August 2002, marked another significant difference in his mind set to that of Vaughan. While the Yorkshireman admitted he could no longer summon the motivation needed for life on the county circuit, Shah, it seems, is not bored with clocking up runs and being a role model for the Panthers just yet.
He added: "To be a batting talisman for Middlesex isn't a bad consolation prize.
"I'm a senior player and I've got to lead from the front and when I get a chance to get a big score like today I've got to try and take it.
"Hopefully the guys like Dawid Malan and Billy Godleman can learn from me and go on and get big runs of their own."