THERE was no shortage of consternation on social media, tinged with scepticism, following the announcement that Adil Rashid would be unable to play for Yorkshire again this season due to a shoulder injury.
The injury which hampered him during the World Cup but did not prevent him from playing in that tournament has now apparently got worse to the extent that he is unavailable for the T20 Blast and is instead concentrating on getting right for England’s winter tours.
Not that this cuts much ice with the people on Twitter.
Reacting to the news on the club’s own Twitter feed, many supporters’ comments were far from sympathetic.
“Convenient,” said one. “No desire to play for Yorkshire whatsoever.”
“We never saw that one coming, did we,” said another.
“What a joke”, “Get rid”, “No more excuses”, were further examples of the prevailing mood.
“I’ll never forget his attitude in Sep 2016 in essentially a cup final and it hasn’t improved since,” added one fan, referencing the fact that Rashid withdrew from the County Championship decider against Middlesex at Lord’s citing family reasons.
Regardless of whether you think such reactions are fair or unjust, with Rashid having also quit Championship cricket prior to the 2018 season which means that he hardly features for Yorkshire now anyway, the situation is toxic and only getting worse.
The player’s contract expires at the end of the summer and, for the good of both parties, it might be best if it was not renewed.
How much would Yorkshire see of Rashid next season in any case?
It seems highly unlikely that he would want to play Championship cricket again and, assuming that he is available for The Hundred competition starting next year, he would surely be playing in that as opposed to turning out for Yorkshire in the 50-over tournament that runs concurrently.
True, Rashid might manage the odd T20 game for Yorkshire here and there, depending on international commitments, but hardly enough to make a significant difference to a team which, on this season’s evidence, would struggle to qualify even if they had Shane Warne in his pomp.
From Rashid’s point of view, it might make more sense to start afresh somewhere else, where there is no baggage around his neck, or even to quit county cricket full stop, depending on how he sees the rest of his career panning out/T20 franchise opportunities.
Either way, as things stand, the 31-year-old would appear to have little to gain by staying at Yorkshire in the prevailing climate, or they from tieing him up to another white-ball deal.
If Rashid’s heart is no longer in the Championship, then that, of course, is entirely his decision.
One may or may not agree with it and think, as I do, that he is a wasted talent in red-ball cricket who deserved to win many more Test caps, but that is not the point. The point is what benefit is derived from him staying at Yorkshire amid claims and counter claims as to his commitment and motives, plus his unavailability.
Rashid is a truly wonderful, unique talent who has done many good things for Yorkshire CCC over the years, as well as being a fine role model for Asian youngsters. But in the interests of credibility from Yorkshire’s perspective and common sense all round, the time has surely come for a parting of the ways.