Unsold in IPL auction, Bopara spurns Rajasthan Royals offer

Unsold in IPL auction, Bopara spurns Rajasthan Royals offer

Bopara decided not to accept 100,000 pound sterling offer last month to focus on his bid to return to the England Test side.

The franchise led by Shane Warne were seeking to replace Collingwood, whose knee surgery after the World Cup ruled him out of the Twenty20 league.

Bopara said he hoped to replace Collingwood in England's Test team after the latter announced his retirement from the longest form of the game in early January.

"It was a tough decision (to turn down IPL offer), but my ambition as a youngster has always been to play Test cricket and to play for my country," said Bopara, whose most recent of 10 Tests was against Australia at Headingley in 2009.

"Not everything's about money. I've got to make sure I fulfil my ambitions and my talent as a cricketer. Although Twenty20 is a very important part of the game, Test cricket is always going to be the pinnacle," Bopara was quoted as saying by the official England and Wales Cricket Board website.

"There's a Test place available and someone's got to take it and I realise this is the time to knuckle down and get some runs for Essex and take some wickets and take that Test spot," he said.

Bopara has a month and a half - the period of the IPL round-robin phase - to make a case for his inclusion in England's next Test, against Sri Lanka starting on May 26.

Bopara was among a host of cricketers left unsold during the IPL 4 auctions in Bangalore on January 8.