The 30-year-old Yorkshire leg-spinner has been included in the Three Lions team despite saying he wanted to focus on limited-overs cricket
Adil Rashid has been called up to a 13-man England squad in a shock move by selectors for the 1,000th Test against India at Edgbaston.
The 30-year-old Yorkshire leg-spinner’s inclusion comes despite his decision to quit all first-class cricket while he prepares for next year’s home World Cup.
It is an unprecedented move by national selector Ed Smith and his colleagues. Rashid hasn’t played a red-ball match for ten months, with none scheduled for his county in the foreseeable future.
Fellow spinner Moeen Ali has also been named in the side, which also features uncapped 25-year-old seamer Jamie Porter.
Porter’s call-up, in place of Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes – who England believe is still short of his best as he returns from injury and will therefore miss his home Test – is also a surprise.
But it is Rashid’s return, after winning the last of his ten Test caps in Chennai more than 18 months ago, which will dominate the headlines.
It comes on the back of his much-improved white-ball international form and follows a personal guarantee to England that he will re-commit long-term to Test cricket.
Rashid’s case was underlined when he bowled India captain Virat Kohli with a memorable leg-break as England clinched the one-day international series on his home ground at Headingley last week.
Porter, meanwhile, has impressed for Essex – in last year’s county championship-winning campaign – and England Lions.
Moeen is back in the Test reckoning for the first time since his miserable Ashes winter, and Somerset spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess will both join England’s preparations in Birmingham next week – despite being left out of the squad.
Smith said: “Before the selection meeting, Adil had confirmed his availability to play Test cricket for England for the whole of this summer and upcoming winter tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies.
“Following his earlier decision in February 2018, Adil has a white-ball only contract to play for Yorkshire this summer.
“That arrangement is unchanged by his selection for England.
“However, Adil fully understands that if he wishes to be eligible for Test cricket in the 2019 season, he must have a county contract to play four-day cricket.
“Moving forward, England Test players must be committed to the county championship.
“Clearly, the one-off circumstances around Adil’s return to the Test squad are unusual. However, the selection panel was unanimous in believing that Adil should be selected in England’s squad.”
Rashid was not expecting England to make the overture, and had to think seriously before accepting the offer.
“It was definitely a tough decision – and yes, obviously, I was kind of surprised,” he told Sky Sports News.
“To get back in the Test side, usually people have got to go back to their counties and perform to be considered.
“But me and Ed Smith, and a few others, had a chat – and they were thinking, if I can be available, we’ll be happy for me to be in the squad.
“That’s something I had to think about, and I made that decision to be available.”
Smith added: “The selection panel felt Chris Woakes needed a little more time to regain full form.
“We are keen to avoid rushing him back from injury too soon.”