Adil Rashid has shot back at critics, in particular former England and Yorkshire captain Michael Vaughan and the Yorkshire county, after his selection in England’s Test team drew flak. He thinks Vaughan’s comments are “stupid” and “do not matter”, and he is hurt by Yorkshire’s expression of disappointment, which might lead him “to think about the future in terms of which county I play for”.
Most of the criticism, though, has been aimed at the England selectors for giving Rashid a Test comeback in “unique circumstances” even though the legspinner had turned his back on red-ball cricket for Yorkshire. Rashid had a good ODI series against India, including bowling India captain Virat Kohli with a sharp legbreak. Rashid is the second spinner alongside Moeen Ali in the squad for the first Test. Both Dominic Bess and Jack Leach, who played Tests for England after Moeen and Rashid had been dropped, were overlooked.
In his column in The Telegraph, Vaughan called Rashid “unprofessional” for not making himself available for Yorkshire when “he knew he had a good chance of being picked” for the Tests.
Rashid responded belligerently, saying it was not his fault he was offered a place in the squad. “There has been a lot of hoo-ha. I don’t see what the big deal is, with people talking about me being retired,” Rashid told BBC Sport. “I didn’t say anything about retirement, which some pundits have said. It was not an easy decision, but when your country wants you and asks if you are available, you cannot just say no.”
About Vaughan he was much more scathing: “His opinions do not matter to anybody. When I mentioned at the start of the year I will not be playing red-ball cricket, he tweeted something then. He was being controversial and saying his stupid things then too. A lot of people have got no interest in what he says. It is about getting people to like what he says.
“I don’t think he has an agenda against me. I played under and with him but sometimes ex-players come out and start talking nonsense about current players. If he wants to carry on talking just because he is bored with nothing better to say, then that is his choice. There will be people out there who are not happy. There will be haters, like the pundits who are saying it is a disgrace. That is not my fault.”
Rashid said he expected better from his county Yorkshire. Their CEO Mark Arthur has criticised the selection too because Rashid had not made himself available for red-ball cricket for Yorkshire, who even had to loan a spinner for just one match, the Roses clash.
“They might be disappointed for various reasons, but it would have been nice if the chief executive or head coach could have said, ‘Well done, congratulations on being selected, good on you.’ As opposed to being angry and upset for not playing red-ball cricket for them, even though I told them I would not be doing so.
“I did not do anything wrong in that sense. There is no reason for Yorkshire to react like this. It was not something I expected or wanted. It would have been nice to have got the support from your county or the people close to you, but if they do not want to give their support, that is their problem. I don’t need anybody’s support in that situation. I know what I want to do and achieve. If I give 100% and it goes well, it goes well. If it doesn’t then I will still be happy.
“If they treat me like they have done, don’t see any value in me and are disrespectful to me, I have to think about the future in terms of which county I play for.”