Adil Rashid has agreed a one year limited-overs deal with Yorkshire, but insists that he's still got his sights set on playing test cricket for England.
The 32 year old leg-spinner has been struggling with a shoulder injury, and relied on injections to ease the pain through 2019 and the 50 over World Cup. After taking some time away, Rashid looked back to his best in the limited-over series in South Africa, with the pace of his bowling being noticeably up on what it was in 2019.
Rashid last played for England in the West Indies in January 2019 and hasn't been available for selection over the winter. Despite only signing a white-ball contract, meaning he won't play in the county championship in 2020, he insists he still wants to play test cricket.
“Although I won’t be playing red-ball cricket this summer, I still have ambitions of playing Test cricket in the future,”
“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.
This proves a little bit problematic for England and Ed Smith.
It had been England's policy that only players with red-ball contracts with their counties were eligible for selection to the England test team. Smith went against this in August 2018 when he re-called Rashid, who was only signed to a white-ball contract with Yorkshire at the time.
Following this diversion from the standard selection policies. Smith reiterated that going forward, a player would need to have a red-ball contract to be eligible to play for England in the longest format of the game.
Rashid has bowled over 600 overs in International cricket for England and 2018 was statistically his best year with his economy rate falling to 3.48 along with his average, which dipped below 30 for the first time in his test career.
He had a career performance at the Sinhalese sports club ground on the 2018 tour to Sri Lanka where he took 5 wickets for 49 runs in 13.5 overs. I thought it finally looked as though he was set as a test cricketer.
I completely understand why Rashid wants to concentrate on white-ball cricket in 2020. He's a key member of the T20 squad and he wants to ensure that his health remains intact as we head towards the World Cup at the end of the year.
England don't have a ton of options in the spin-bowling department, despite youngsters like Dom Bess and Matt Parkinson making their way through and Liam Dawson and Amar Virdi waiting in the wings too.
I wouldn't be completely surprised if we saw Rashid at some point in the future, especially with a tour of India coming up next winter.