Adil Rashid in action for Yorkshire in the T20 Blast
The Daily Telegraph has revealed today that Adil Rashid has opted out of first-class cricket for Yorkshire this season after agreeing a white-ball only contract with the English county.
The spin bowler becomes the first England one-day player to “turn his back on first-class cricket”, says the Telegraph. He has signed a one-year deal to play just 50-over and 20-over matches.
Rashid, who is in New Zealand with England, said: “It’s for this season coming and to see how it goes. At this moment in time in my career, I just feel that white-ball cricket is where I am best, enjoying it most and where I feel I can develop and offer a lot more.
“England and Trevor Bayliss were happy with the decision I made and are backing me fully. I’ll use as much of the time I have to work on my white-ball cricket and I’ll just see where that takes me and what lies ahead. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but it’s something I felt I had to do.”
The 29-year-old played ten Test matches for England but his last Test appearance was against India in December 2016, the BBC reports.
The Yorkshire County Cricket Club can confirm that leg-spinning all-rounder Adil Rashid will not play red-ball cricket for the White Rose in 2018.
— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) February 15, 2018
Yorkshire ‘disappointed’ by Rashid’s decision
In a statement, the county confirmed that the all-rounder will not play red-ball cricket for the White Rose in 2018. “Rashid, now a firm fixture in England’s one-day and T20 teams, recently approached director of cricket Martyn Moxon to outline his plans for the forthcoming campaign. These new terms were accepted and the club will now work with Rashid to facilitate his request, with a review of the situation anticipated to take place in the autumn.”
The statement also said: “The club remain firmly in favour of Rashid continuing to play red-ball cricket for the county, but respect his desire and we are in the process of renegotiating a contract which reflects his decision to solely play white ball cricket.”
Moxon added: “It’s obviously Adil’s decision. He contacted me recently and explained that he wanted to focus solely on white-ball cricket and concentrate on becoming the best white-ball cricketer he could possibly be.
“From my point of view it’s disappointing because I think Adil has got the ability to play in all three formats of the game, not only at county level, but also at international level. It is Adil’s decision and we have to respect that.”
What does it mean for county and Test cricket?
Rashid’s decision to opt out of first-class matches will be a concern for the county clubs, who fear that many of England’s one-day specialists could follow his lead. The Telegraph says that other one-day players are “understood to be considering similar deals”.
One player to have “effectively” given up red-ball cricket is Jos Buttler, who has only played five first-class games in the past two seasons. Eoin Morgan, the England one-day and Twenty20 captain, hasn’t played championship cricket for Middlesex since 2015.
While Rashid’s decision highlights an issue for the county game, Test cricket is also affected by specialist players deciding to focus on the sport’s shorter formats.
Last month cricket journalist Alex Bowden said in Wisden that “many young England players can’t help but turn their backs on Test cricket”. Bowden wrote: “Promising cricketers find themselves passively shepherded away from first-class cricket at almost exactly the moment when they’re ready to take a step up to the Test arena.”
A big decision made by Adil Rashidhttps://t.co/zryxphgjhS
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 15, 2018
What the pundits and fans think
After the news was announced today, pundits and fans had their say.
Michael Vaughan was “staggered” by Rashid’s decision.
Staggered by this … https://t.co/HXaatNpChU
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 15, 2018
“Don’t blame him” said one fan.
Don't blame him. The test side treated him very poorly and brought in a very young leg spinner to tell him he was yesterday's news in the red ball game. He might as well earn money instead as cricket is a short career.
— David Pearce (@davidgpearce) February 15, 2018
“Why not focus on your core skill?”
You could argue should he if he has no chance to play for the England Test team – the ECB structure is built around selecting players for the England Test team historically and if he has no chance why not focus on your core skill – same with any job?
— Prit (@shotyaar) February 15, 2018
Not surprised to hear that Adil Rashid has given up on red ball cricket. After England%u2019s spineless performance with the ball in Australia , it could be said that red ball cricket had given up on him. Heaven knows why.
— Jason Lowe (@jason_lowe43) February 15, 2018
“A sign of the times?”
Adil Rashid turning his back on first-class cricket is sad.
Will only play white-ball cricket from here. Sign of the times?
— Phil Bird (@PhilBirdBFC) February 15, 2018
England contracts affect the counties says cricket writer Will Macpherson.
Adil Rashid going white ball only at Yorkshire is in part a product of ECB%u2019s white-ball England contracts. Counties don%u2019t want to pay big bucks for players they never get access to.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) February 15, 2018
The Sun’s John Etheridge says it will be “interesting” to see how Rashid bowls in white-ball cricket.
Wrist-spinners normally need to bowl a lot. So will be interesting to see if Adil Rashid's lack of first-class overs will harm his white ball bowling.
Naturally, Rashid hopes it will allow more time to improve and expand his white ball skills.
— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) February 15, 2018