YORKSHIRE SAY there are no guarantees that World Cup winner Adil Rashid will return to County Championship action and that they will discuss his future at the end of the season.
Rashid is out of contract at the end of the year having signed an all-format deal with the club for 2019.
The 31-year-old leg-spinner, part of the side that lifted the World Cup against New Zealand at Lord’s, is technically available for the last four Championship games, starting with Nottinghamshire at Scarborough from August 18.
But he has been managing a shoulder problem that hampered his progress at the start of the World Cup, impacting his ability to bowl his variations, and it remains unclear what his long-term aspirations are having previously quit red-ball cricket only to reverse that decision when he recovered his Test place – a place he has now lost.
Rashid is set to play his first match since the World Cup final at Headingley on Friday when Yorkshire face Worcestershire in the T20 Blast, and Martyn Moxon, the club’s director of cricket, said that they would assess his fitness in the coming days.
“Rash is available to play from Friday and we’ll just have to assess once he’s played a few games T20-wise what the situation is with regards to red-ball cricket, but at the moment there’s no guarantee that he’ll play red-ball cricket,” he said.
“I think he’s got a concern about his shoulder long-term, so we’ve left it that we’re going to wait and see how he pulls through these coming T20 matches and then we’ll assess when it comes round to Scarborough.
“Beyond that (his Yorkshire future), what we’ve said is that we’ll wait and see what England do with central contracts, and then we’ll sit down with Adil once he knows what his England situation is with regards to potentially Test cricket going forward, and so on.
“We’ll basically assess things once the England contract situation is resolved (during the autumn).”
Having quit red-ball cricket in February last year, Rashid signed a one-year all-format deal with Yorkshire last September after national selector Ed Smith decreed that Test players needed red-ball county contracts going forward.
Rashid had been recalled for the India Test series that started last August but has not featured in five-day cricket since the tour to West Indies in January.
Should Rashid, who is behind Moeen Ali and Jack Leach in the Test pecking order, not return to Championship cricket this year, Yorkshire will be covered spin-wise for the Nottinghamshire fixture and the subsequent match against Somerset at Taunton.
Moxon said that Keshav Maharaj, the 29-year-old South African left-armer, is to rejoin the club for those games before returning home for international duty.
Maharaj is also available for the last seven T20 matches, starting with the Roses clash at Old Trafford on August 9, and he will also fill the gap left by on-loan spinner Dom Bess, whose deal expires before the last four T20 fixtures.
Depending on whether Yorkshire have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, they are also now planning to bring back West Indies batsman/wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran for the last five group games from August 16; Pooran was signed for the first five games before leaving this week for international duty.
“Keshav Maharaj will be coming back next week,” said Moxon.
“He can only play the next two Championship games due to his South Africa commitments, and he’s available for any T20 games we might want him to play as well up to that time.
“If we’ve got a chance of qualifying, we’re going to try and get Nicholas Pooran back and he’s intimated he would be willing to do that. He finishes an ODI series on August 14, so it might be tight, but he could be back for the Durham game on August 16.”
In stark contrast to some of Yorkshire’s short-term overseas deals in recent times, Maharaj and Pooran have both impressed.
Maharaj captured 20 wickets in three Championship appearances and scored two half-centuries, while Pooran hit 67 and 43 in two of his three T20 appearances, with his other two scheduled matches rained off.
“Maharaj made a big impact,” said Moxon. “He held the game with the ball when we needed him to, took wickets and got runs.
“Pooran contributed massively in two of the games. He’s a destructive player and showed everyone the skill that he’s got.”
With Yorkshire sitting third in the Championship table, 38 points behind leaders Essex, there is an outside chance that they could yet win the title.
As such, they would consider another overseas signing for their last two Championship games.
“We’re looking into the potential availability of players, but at the moment we’ve got nothing concrete,” said Moxon.
“It will depend on how we’re going; if we haven’t got a chance of winning the Championship, we might think differently, but we’re looking at all the options.”