ADIL RASHID has signed a new contract with Yorkshire, ending months of speculation surrounding his future.
The England leg-spinner has agreed a one-year deal to play red and white-ball cricket for the club.
Rashid, 30, plunged Yorkshire’s pre-season plans into turmoil when he said that he was only available for white-ball games.
It prompted some observers, including his former Yorkshire captain Darren Gough, to insist that the club should have shown him the door rather than agree to his demands.
But Yorkshire felt that Rashid was too important to them to go down that route, perceiving him as a key figure in 50-over and 20-over cricket.
However, after Rashid’s controversial red-ball call-up for the recent Test series against India, a move that Gough also slammed as “ridiculous” and a “kick in the teeth to every other bowler in county cricket”, Rashid was then ironically unavailable to Yorkshire in white-ball too.
The club even signed another leg-spinner, Josh Poysden from Warwickshire, to play in the County Championship Roses match at Old Trafford, after Rashid refused to change his mind about playing in the Championship, with Poysden subsequently agreeing a three-year contract.
Although Rashid did not want to play red-ball for Yorkshire, he felt that he could not so easily turn down England when they recalled him to their Test team on the back of his one-day form.
The player then had little option but to reverse his red-ball stance when national selector Ed Smith stated that Test players must have red-ball county deals going forward, even though that standard did not apply to Smith’s expedient selection of Rashid.
It has been an unhappy saga, while it remains to be seen how much Rashid will be available to Yorkshire in any case. Following the winter Test tours, England’s World Cup preparations start in early May, with that competition succeeded by the Ashes.
I think we’ve been clear from the outset that we wanted to keep Adil at the club. And, when it became known that he had to have a red-ball contract (because Ed Smith said so), we were more than happy to put that in place.Martyn Moxon
But Yorkshire are unapologetic in wanting to keep hold of a man who first played for them in 2006, and who has gone on to capture 500 first-class wickets in 171 games at an average of 34 in addition to scoring 6,696 runs at an average of 32.
Martyn Moxon, the club’s director of cricket, said that Yorkshire are delighted to keep Rashid on board, with the player understood to have turned down less tempting offers from rival clubs – including from today’s Championship opponents Worcestershire, home of his close friend and international team-mate Moeen Ali.
“There’s been a lot of talk and speculation, but Adil is a very valuable cricketer for us,” said Moxon. “Now he’s in the Test team, how much he’ll be available for us next season is unclear, but when he is available, we’d be delighted to have him.
“For now, the contract is just for a year because it’s still not clear what career path he’s going to take.
“He’s back in the Test team, and going into 2020, with the new competition (The Hundred), players are waiting to see how that will affect contracts as well.
“I think for now it’s good to have the one year and to see how the winter goes for Adil too. We’ll probably have another look at it (his contract) after the World Cup, and see where he is, particularly with England.
“In the short-term, it’s good to know that, when he’s available, he’ll be playing for us.”
Moxon admitted that Rashid’s earlier decision to play white-ball only had taken the club by surprise. But he insisted that the player had no desire to switch counties.
“It was a big surprise that he wanted to play white-ball only and asked us for a white-ball only contract,” he said. “That created a bit of confusion and instability for a while.
“But I think we’ve been clear from the outset that we wanted to keep Adil at the club. And, when it became known that he had to have a red-ball contract (because Ed Smith said so), we were more than happy to put that in place.
“Speaking to Adil, he’s keen to stay here and is in no mood to change that. We’re really pleased to keep him. We all know he’s a match-winner for us. Leg-spin bowlers are a vital part of the game, and that’s what we want from Adil – that potential to be a match-winner in all formats.”