The England and Wales Cricket Board, today announced their Test squad for the 1st Test against India, starting next week.
The inclusion of English spinner, Adil Rashid has been a controversial one.
In February 2018, Rashid made the decision to turn his back on First-Class cricket, and focus solely on white ball cricket for his county side Yorkshire, citing “It wasn’t an easy decision to make but it’s something I felt I had to do. If I was to go back to playing red ball early in the season, a bit inside me would have said ‘I’m just playing because I have to’ but I had to make that decision and say ‘no, I can’t just go through the motions”.
His selection comes as a slap in the face of every county player in the County Championship, who is working hard to get selected, only to have Rashid get selected on the basis of one delivery, in a one-day game, where he bowled Virat Kohli out, albeit with a peach of a delivery.
Rashid told Sky Sports News, “It was definitely a tough decision – and yes, obviously, I was kind of surprised. 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 (England’s national selector), 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”
But this news has not gone down well with Yorkshire’s Chief Executive, Mark Arthur, who has been quoted as saying, “We’re very surprised that England have called Adil up after not playing red ball cricket this season. Neither has he expressed a desire to do so. I hope that England know what they’re doing to Adil, and the county game”.
The squad England have selected is:
Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes
Rashid last played for England in a Test match in December 2016, against India in Chennai. He has played in 10 Tests, and taken 38 wickets at an average of 42.78
The first Test starts on Wednesday 1st August, at Edgbaston in Birmingham at 11am UK time.