Adil Rashid tells talkSPORT English cricket must accept short-form specialists

'it's a reality'

The 30-year-old insists Test cricket is still the pinnacle, but says it’s time to acknowledge and accept that some players will only want to play T20

Adil Rashid is happy he decided to recommit to red ball cricket but believes English cricket will have to get used to the idea of Twenty20 specialists.

Rashid has had a turbulent 2018, initially making the surprise decision to play only limited-overs cricket for Yorkshire before being handed a controversial Test recall.

Adil Rashid played a key role in the 3-1 ODI series victory over Sri Lanka

Adil Rashid played a key role in the 3-1 ODI series victory over Sri Lanka

Even his county struggled to hide their surprise at that turn of events and a parting of the ways seemed inevitable until the leg-spinner agreed a new three-format deal at Headingley last month.

Rashid’s experiences somewhat over-shadowed England team-mate Alex Hales’ decision to take a similar path at Nottinghamshire, and the 30-year-old expects it to become a more familiar route as the game continues to develop and diverge.

“There’s always the ultimate goal of playing Test cricket, playing for your country, but as time goes on things may change,” he told talkSPORT.

“There are Twenty20 competitions all around the world, more competitions keep coming each year, and it may happen down the line that people just want to be T20 players.

“I think coaches, players, teams have got to start accepting that’s going to happen, that it’s a reality. It’s happening in other parts of the world, the West Indies for example, and if it happens then it happens. It’s about accepting it.”

Adil Rashid puts the work in during a training session ahead of the Twenty20 between England and Sri Lanka

Adil Rashid puts the work in during a training session ahead of the Twenty20 between England and Sri Lanka

Rashid is currently as central to England’s plans as he has ever been, a central cog in the 3-1 victory over Sri Lanka in the one-day series, a certainty for Saturday’s T20 international and set for a major role in next month’s three-match Test series on spin-friendly surfaces.

It was, though, just three months ago that his former Yorkshire team-mate, and Ashes-winning England captain, Michael Vaughan labelled his Test recall “a stab in the back for the county game”.

That may have been the most colourful criticism but it was not the only one, yet Rashid insists he was able to brush off any negativity and focus on his own game.

“At the time I didn’t really feel much, I wasn’t really taking note of what people were saying,” he said.

“I don’t follow what people say about me, good or not so good. It doesn’t faze me in the sense that I knew what my task ahead was and what I want to achieve. Whatever decisions I made I know there are no regrets. I don’t look back.”

talkSPORT will bring you live and exclusive coverage of Saturday’s Twenty20 and England’s entire Test series in Sri Lanka

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Cricket – talkSPORT

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