Adil Rashid has insisted that he still has ambitions of playing Test cricket for England, despite signing a white-ball contract with Yorkshire for the 2020 season.
Rashid ruled himself out of England’s upcoming series in Sri Lanka earlier this month, telling Sky Sports during the ODI series in South Africa: “I’ve got to go back into county cricket, perform, do well, and then get selected.”
But with fitness a constant concern due to his ongoing shoulder injury, Rashid has decided to focus on T20 cricket for the foreseeable future.
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“I am thrilled to sign this contract with my home club and look forward to this season’s T20 campaign,” Rashid said. “I have decided to concentrate on white-ball cricket this summer in the lead up to the T20 World Cup. This is due to an ongoing shoulder injury, so it is important for me to manage my workload to give me the best chance of remaining fit.
“Although I won’t be playing red-ball cricket this summer, I still have ambitions of playing Test cricket in the future.”
Following Rashid’s controversial Test recall in 2018, which came months after he had signed a white-ball-only county deal, England changed their selection policy to only consider players for the formats they are contracted for domestically.
He won a Test contract for 2018-19, and signed an all-formats contract with Yorkshire for 2019, but his most recent first-class game was the Barbados Test last January. He has had to manage a persistent shoulder problem since the start of last summer, which forced him to take pain-killing injections to get through the World Cup and ruled him out of the end of the 2019 domestic season.
After a relatively quiet series in New Zealand in November, Rashid looked back at his best in South Africa, winning the match award in the third ODI for his 3 for 52. While his figures in the T20I series – two wickets and an economy rate of 9.00 – might appear underwhelming at face value, they were excellent in the context of a series in which the overall run-rate was above 10.
While Rashid’s deal technically covers 50-over cricket, he is unlikely to appear in the One-Day Cup – with the possible exception of the knockout stages – due to the competition’s clash with the Hundred, in which he is a ‘local icon’ player for Northern Superchargers.
It had long appeared unlikely that he would play red-ball cricket this season, with both Keshav Maharaj and R Ashwin set for stints as Yorkshire’s overseas players in the County Championship.
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, said: “We fully understand Adil’s position and are happy that he will be available for Yorkshire in the Vitality Blast this coming season. Adil is a world-class performer and will obviously add great value to our T20 team.”