Adil Rashid © Getty Images
Adil Rashid © Getty Images

England‘s leg-spinner, Adil Rashid‘s decision to skip red-ball cricket has hogged limelight for a while now. In addition, teammate Alex Hales followed suit. It is not an unknown fact that England are gearing up for the 2019 World Cup, at home, and their limited-overs specialists want to concentrate on shorter formats. Rashid recently opened up on his decision to skip ‘county encounters’, and clarified that it is not a ‘permanent thing’.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Rashid told, “It’s something that I’ve thought about and felt I had to do, and has been inside me for a little while. Last year, playing red-ball cricket for Yorkshire, my thought was that if I wasn’t giving 100 per cent then I would be letting the team down and also myself down. It was a decision made purely because of how I felt playing red-ball cricket at this time. My mind’s not there, my heart’s not there, I’m letting the team down but also myself down. I had to get it off my chest and let Yorkshire know.”

Note: Rashid accounted for only 10 scalps at 50 for Yorkshire — one of his worst season after a highly-acclaimed County debut in 2006.

Sharing his discussion with Yorkshire director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, Rashid said, “Martyn is very good in that sense. We had a chat, and he was disappointed that I made this decision, but he also respects it. He’s happy that I told him now rather than maybe a week before the season, that would have been a tough situation for him. He took it well and is happy that I told him.”

However, before people jump into conclusions, Rashid’s decision to ignore county games is not a permanent one. He clarified, “Like I said before, it’s not a permanent thing. It’s for this season, to see how it goes, how it unfolds and what happens. See what my mind says and what my heart feels. If it changes I could be going back to red-ball cricket next season. That’s a long way away, and a lot can change. At this moment in time I’m very content with what I’m doing.”

Logical thinking?

Rashid explained that it wasn’t fruitful to appear for the county games when there won’t be much help for the spinners; bowling on slow pitches in cold weather. “That was a big part of it. Early season, I may not bowl much. A couple of overs here and there. Doing that, I wouldn’t get my rhythm – two overs before lunch, a few overs before tea. That wouldn’t help my confidence. At that stage, I’d just be going through the motions,” he opined.

With England heading into the right direction ahead of World Cup, their next ODI assignment will be against daunting hosts, New Zealand. Having toppled Australia 1-4 in their home turf, England would be confident. However, they cannot take New Zealand lightly at any point. “I think they’re a very good outfit. I think Kane Williamson is leading them very well. They’re a very talented team. They proved it during the ODI series against Pakistan which they won 5-0. This coming series is not going to be easy for us. If us lot play to our potential, we’ll do well,” concluded Rashid.