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Vaughan’s comments ‘stupid’ and ‘do not matter’ – Rashid hits back at critics

by Wisden Staff 6 minute read

Adil Rashid has hit back at his critics, in particular former teammate Michael Vaughan and Yorkshire CEO Mark Arthur, after drawing criticism for his inclusion in England’s squad to take on India in the first Test next month.

The leg-spinner branded the former England captain’s comments “stupid” and is disheartened by the lack of support from his county, which is making him reconsider where his domestic future lies.

Rashid given Test lifeline despite not playing any four-day cricket this season

Many of the game’s leading commentators and journalists took to social media to convey their displeasure after the squad was confirmed at midday on July 26, predominantly directing their frustrations towards the England selectors.

In February, Rashid decided to turn his back on domestic red-ball cricket, which has led many to question whether the selectors are setting the right example by including the twirler in this summer’s flagship five-Test series.

However, Rashid has continued to impress in white-ball cricket, with his strong output in the ODI series versus India headlined by the fizzing leg-break that comprehensively dismissed Virat Kohli in the third ODI, which preceded a look of bewilderment on the India captain’s face.

Rashid has been included ahead of Somerset spin duo Dominic Bess and Jack Leach, and has every chance of lining up alongside No.1 spinner Moeen Ali in the first Test that commences on Wednesday August 1.

In his column for The Telegraph, Vaughan called Rashid “unprofessional” for not making himself available for his beloved Yorkshire when “he knew he had a good chance of being picked” for England’s Test series.

In a heated response, Rashid insisted he was simply responding to a call. “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.”

The leg-spinner lost his cool when asked specifically about Vaughan’s comments. “His opinions do not matter to anybody,” Rashid vented. “When I mentioned at the start of the year I will not be playing red-ball cricket, 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.”

Michael Vaughan has been vocal about his displeasure at England’s decision to include Rashid

Rashid added: “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.”

Rashid was also disappointed with his county after CEO Mark Arthur, frustrated by the bowler’s refusal to play red-ball cricket this season, promptly voiced his disapproval after confirmation of the spinner’s inclusion.

“I did not do anything wrong,” Rashid claimed. “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.

“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.”

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