YORKSHIRE boss Martyn Moxon has spelled out the situation concerning Adil Rashid’s contract talks after tying up fellow leg-spinner Josh Poysden on a three-year deal.
Moxon has revealed that Yorkshire’s latest offer to Rashid does include the provision for him to play red-ball cricket again for the club – something that he has declined to do all summer, with national selector Ed Smith having recently stated that Rashid must have a red-ball deal to be considered for Test cricket from next year.
Moxon also disclosed that England pace bowler Liam Plunkett, who is set to return after a hip injury for the vital T20 double-header at Northants tonight and at home to Notts tomorrow, as the club seek to book their quarter-final place, has requested not to be considered for County Championship cricket again this season.
Yorkshire have acquiesced, with Plunkett on his way to Surrey at the end of the summer, and the club stress that the relationship between themselves and the player is amicable.
Plunkett will continue to be available for the rest of a T20 campaign which Yorkshire hope will end at Finals Day next month, although they will probably need to win their last two group games to reach the last eight.
After signing Poysden initially on loan for the rest of the season, with the 27-year-old having effectively filled in for Rashid on a one-match loan against Lancashire at Old Trafford last month, director of cricket Moxon clarified the state of play regarding his premier spinner.
“The situation regarding Adil is basically this… we’ve made an offer to him to play white and red-ball cricket for 2019. He is assessing it with his agent, and we’re waiting for them to come back to us,” he said.
“Obviously, in terms of the offer, we’ve had to minimise the risk to the club given that it’s a very uncertain situation (regarding Rashid’s red-ball intentions).
“But we want him to stay, and the communication process is ongoing.”
By signing Poysden, who was required to bowl only seven overs at Old Trafford (1-37), Yorkshire have recruited a promising player somewhat consigned to the background at Warwickshire by the presence of the outstanding New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel.
They are also effectively covering all bases pending Rashid’s decision and strengthening a spin department that they have long been keen to bolster.
Azeem Rafiq, the 27-year-old off-spinner, is set for a decision regarding his future after the T20 campaign and has been left out of the squad for tonight’s game at Wantage Road. Karl Carver, the 22-year-old left-arm spinner, has been included, while Yorkshire will give a fitness test to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (bruised finger).
“We are delighted that Josh has signed,” commented Moxon. “Following on from his previous loan move, we believe that his skill-set will complement and strengthen our bowling attack in our remaining six Championship fixtures.”
Poysden, who has captured 27 wickets in 12 first-class appearances, said: “It’s massively exciting to be joining Yorkshire, a club with a massive history and lots of top-class players.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully contributing to some big wins for the club over the next three years.”
Reflecting on his previous loan, Poysden added: “I really enjoyed the one-game loan. When I came in, the lads were nice and all really welcoming.
“It was brilliant playing with the international players like Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson.
“It was a great experience, but, most importantly, getting a win in the Roses game was a great way to start my Yorkshire career.”
While Poysden prepares for Sunday’s Championship match against Worcestershire at Scarborough, Yorkshire’s immediate focus is trying to secure T20 qualification after successive defeats to Lancashire and Notts left things hanging in the balance.
“It all changes so quickly,” mused Moxon.
“Two games ago we were sitting in a reasonably strong position, but it just shows that it’s a weird game to try and judge, T20.
“The good thing is that it’s still in our hands. Obviously, after two defeats, we’ve got to regroup, but we’ll go into the games with confidence.”
With the Championship title effectively gone given that leaders Surrey hold a 66-point lead over Yorkshire, and with the Royal London Cup done for another year, the T20 represents the club’s last chance of silverware this season. They have had an inconsistent T20 campaign so far, with six wins and six defeats.
“I think inconsistent is the right word,” said Moxon.
“It’s frustrating that we probably need two wins when we could have put it to bed a week or so ago potentially.
“But that’s the nature of the game.
“As we’ve seen throughout the North Group, everybody’s been beating each other, and it’s very fine lines.”
Yorkshire (from): Ballance, Bresnan, Brook, Brooks, Carver, Fisher, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Lyth, Plunkett, Tattersall, Thompson, Williamson, Willey (captain).