Leg-spinner Adil Rashid: Yorkshire are ruining me

Leg-spinner tells Richard Rae that he is at breaking point with county and his captain Andrew Gale 'who doesn't get art of leg-spin'

When the fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad left Yorkshire last May, there were many who thought the leg-spinning all-rounder Adil Rashid would follow him. The parallels were obvious. Close friends, both had featured regularly for the England Lions and occasionally in full international squads, but their careers appeared to have stalled, and neither was happy with their treatment by their county.

But while the ebullient Shahzad went on loan to Lancashire before eventually signing a three-year deal with Nottinghamshire, the more reserved Rashid stayed put, even after being dropped and publicly criticised by Yorkshire president Geoffrey Boycott.

The 25-year-old was eventually recalled, but he is ready to take drastic action if things do not improve, and is still sore about his treatment. "Now is the time to draw the line, and if it happens again I'll say: 'OK, I'll go out on loan somewhere else to play'," says Rashid, who scored just 129 runs in eight innings at 16.12, and took 16 wickets at 41 apiece in his 10 championship matches last season.

"I hope it doesn't come down to that. I've been playing here seven years and I want to stay. But I have a career and I can't waste another year.

"At the moment I'm hopefully still there or thereabouts, but another year like 2012 and I won't be, I'll be dropping down, down, down and gone. If I don't feel as though I've been treated well, I'll go. I need to be playing first-team cricket, and I know if I'm not playing for Yorkshire there are going to be teams out there willing to take me and play me."

Boycott may have insisted Rashid had not been mismanaged by Yorkshire, but the player disagrees. "It's hard to come straight on and hit your length and line with every delivery if you're hardly bowling and the coaches and people around you don't give you the backing. Last year a lot of people were saying: 'There's something not right here'.

"The confidence goes down, you start doubting yourself, you start thinking you have to do something different.

"Obviously there's some blame on me, but there's some on the people around me, on the captain and the coaches. If a player's not performing, don't just all of a sudden disrespect him, or think: 'Oh, he's nothing now' then as soon as he starts playing well: 'OK, I'll respect him again now'."

Rashid has drifted so far out of international consideration that he was not even selected for the Lions squad last winter. It was one of the reasons he chose to stay at home and practise last winter rather than earn money by playing abroad.

"I have to believe I can get back into international contention, so I didn't go to play in Australia or South Africa. I stayed and worked on my game so this season I'd be ready to get good performances under my belt. At the end of the season hopefully I'll have some hundreds, some five-fors, and I'll be knocking on the door of the Lions squad or even the main squad."

Given most spinners achieve their best results in the later stages of their careers, it is a reasonable point. Rashid was 18 when he took 6 for 67 against Warwickshire on his debut on a typically hard Scarborough wicket back in 2006.

The season after that debut he took 40 championship wickets and scored almost 800 runs: the next season, 62 wickets, which earned him a late call into England's touring party to go to India. International one-day recognition followed, but just six wickets and 70 runs in five ODIs and five T20s for England left some questioning whether he possessed the quality for Test cricket. His struggle at Yorkshire last season obviously has not helped.

"I didn't think I'd done much wrong," he says. "The weather was poor, I hadn't bowled a lot of overs, and all of a sudden for me not to be playing for the first team, it was frustrating and upsetting.

"I didn't get answers as to why I wasn't playing. It was: 'You're not playing today. We don't feel you're bowling well enough.' But how can I not be bowling well enough when I'm hardly bowling at all? Or just in one- or two-over spells? As a leg-spinner, it takes three or four overs to get into your rhythm.

"Ask Shane Warne. Off-spinning is different, you can land it there easy, but if a leg-spinner is cold or whatever, you need a couple of overs and you need the captain to give you confidence and backing. If a batter goes after you, the captain needs to be saying: 'OK, let's set a defensive field. I'm going to keep you on, doesn't matter if you get smashed. You're my match-winner and you're going to get me wickets'.

"The captain [Andrew Gale] knows what I can do because I've got 200-plus [296] first-class wickets. He should have thought: 'OK, he's done this in the past, I need to back him.' If I don't get that from the captain obviously my confidence is going to go down.

"Doubts start creeping in. I'm thinking: 'I've got to take a wicket in this over or that's it, I don't bowl again'. No captain in the past did that to me. [Anthony] McGrath, Vaughany [Michael Vaughan], Craig White, Jacques Rudolph – they backed me.

"Vaughany used to set defensive fields and just bowl me. He never doubted me and it would just build my confidence, I'd get a wicket, get another, get four, get five. With Galey it's changed. A couple of overs and that's it, you're not bowling again for a long time, and when you do come on to bowl again, it's for an over. I don't think it's fair.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent