Rashid on verge of signing new Yorkshire deal

Cricket





Adil Rashid bowls for Yorkshire © Getty Images

Adil Rashid is on the verge of confirming his commitment as a Yorkshire cricketer and signing a new all-format deal with the county.

An anticipated four-year deal would bring a successful end to a fraught period during which Yorkshire expressed their dismay that Rashid had been recalled for England in Test cricket even though he was only on a white-ball contract for the county which was due to expire at the end of this season.

To some extent, if Rashid retains international form, the deal is largely a public relations exercise because he will rarely be available for county cricket anyway, but it is an important symbolic moment for Yorkshire nonetheless.

They have defied many off-the-mark assumptions that Rashid would never play for the county again and, as such, have prevented collateral damage to a concerted player development programme in Asian communities, headed by investment in the historic Park Avenue ground in Rashid’s home city of Bradford.

Rashid initially responded angrily to Yorkshire’s complaints about his selection, saying: “If they treat me like they have done I have to think about the future in terms of which county I play for.”

That led Yorkshire to make rapid attempts to defuse the situation, explaining that their issue was not with him but with the national selector Ed Smith. They contended that allowing England players to play Tests on white-ball only contracts would jeopardise the future of the County Championship and cause a gradual fall in England’s Test standards as a consequence.

That protest was successful with Smith quickly conceding that next summer any player chosen for England in Tests must have signed a multi-format contract.

Rashid has had many suitors – not least of them Worcestershire where he could have teamed up with his friend and England colleague, Moeen Ali.



Joe Root has a word with Adil Rashid © Getty Images

But he is reluctant to leave Bradford where he has iconic status, and where faith in him has never wavered. He has been with Yorkshire’s age group sides since 10 years old and became the first cricketer of Asian background to represent the county. There would seem to be a natural role for him in the city once his career is completed.

Yorkshire have also worked hard to address any misunderstandings, led by the chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon, with both involved in what appeared to be successful negotiations on Tuesday while Yorkshire played the opening day of their Championship match against Hampshire at Headingley.

Differences with the coach Andrew Gale have also been part of the discussions, perhaps belatedly. Gale and Rashid had tactical differences when Gale was captain and then Gale was outraged when Rashid pleaded fatigue and did not play in a Championship-decider against Middlesex at Lord’s two years ago. Rashid also explained that his grandmother was ill.

Notably, the coach at the time, Jason Gillespie, was more understanding about the decision which had been a long-standing arrangement.

Yorkshire are now in the unlikely position of having two specialist leg-spinners on their staff, having signed Josh Poysden from Warwickshire on the assumption that Rashid’s white-ball deal would continue. It is not unique, however, as Mark Lawson was only on the Yorkshire staff when he first broke into the side.

Such disruption to their squad building, at a time when their cricket budget faced cutbacks, was barely addressed by critics who could see no further than England’s international needs.

Rashid is likely to be instructed by England to rest, in any event, before England’s World Cup preparations begin in early May with a limited overs series at home to Pakistan.

In April, with the seamers predominating, Poysden will not hold high hopes of any cricket either.

Rashid made limited impact in England’s 4-1 Test series victory over India, claiming 10 wickets at 30 apiece, but he produced one of the memories of the summer on the last day at the final Test Kia Oval when he intervened at a critical time with a monumental leg-break out of the footmarks to bowl India’s century-maker KL Rahul.

A Test and one-day tour next month to Sri Lanka – the one-day squad will be announced on Wednesday – is inevitable.

David Hopps is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps


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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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