I want to play for England for as long as possible: Adil Rashid


England wrist spinner and 2019 World Cup winner Adil Rashid said in an interview with ESPNcrincinfo that he despite the trouble that he has gone through with his shoulder, he wants to serve his country for as long as possible, with an aim of playing one more 50 Over World Cup.

“My aim is to play for England as long as possible. We don’t know how long that could be. Months, years, or whatever it is. I have a vision in terms of maybe achieving that, the 2023 World Cup would be lovely. Another World Cup would be nice. That’s a long way away and a lot can happen in three years in terms of performance, injuries, people coming in and out, but that’s something that I would love to do again. Ultimately [I want to] play as long as I can. If I stay fit, if my shoulder gets stronger then I can hopefully play for a long time.”

Rashid probably had in mind the fact that the following 50 Over World Cup will be held at the sub continent, where spinners are aided by the traditionally turning slow and low wickets.

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The Bradford born leg spinner suffered an injury to the shoulder right before the World Cup last year, which meant that despite picking up 11 wickets, he went for plenty of runs in the tournament. Rashid has been gradually working his way back to fitness over the winter. He played three T20Is in New Zealand, his first competitive cricket since the World Cup. On the tour to South Africa, he said that he felt like he was on his way to recovery.

“South Africa was a big turning point for me. In South Africa, the shoulder was stronger. I could feel the difference. I was bowling as quickly as I’ve bowled in my career.” He took 3/51 in the 3rd ODI against South Africa, although the T20 series wasn’t quite memorable, as he only managed to pick two wickets and went for runs despite bowling in the right areas.

Rashid then went on to reveal how he controlled his mind over his body and took injections to reduce the pain, so that he could fulfill his commitments for his country on the biggest occasion in Cricket. He also talked about the support he got from his captain, Eoin Morgan.

“The World Cup is the biggest event in Cricket. I had a couple of injections in my shoulder and wasn’t a 100% fit, but my mindset was wanting to play and help the team. Morgs (Morgan) has been top drawer for me. He knew the shoulder wasn’t great, but he kept backing me. I went in there with a strong mindset and did a decent job. That shows when I am 100 percent everything else will hopefully work out better,” he said.

Speaking about fellow English teammate Moeen Ali, who took a break from Cricket to take care of his mental health, he said, “He’s a world-class player, he’s proven that over the past four-five years, being a match-winner for England. This is a decision that he wanted to make, that he thought was best for himself, to relax and have some time off and that’s something that we have to respect. But if there was going to be any cricket played this summer, I’m sure that he would have been a name mentioned as a candidate. That’s something that he’ll come back into, Test cricket.”

At the moment, Rashid is focused on playing only white ball Cricket, signing a contract with his County Yorkshire to do the same. Rashid, who has represented England in 19 Test matches as well, said he would “reassess” in September, leaving open the possibility of a bid for a place in England’s squad for the 2021/22 Ashes in Australia.

“Once September comes, if I have the motivation, if my shoulder is 100% and I feel that I can get back into red ball, that is something I would consider. At this moment, it’s about playing whatever comes around, playing white-ball cricket and looking to perform,” the man with 146 ODI wickets to his name said.

On this chances of playing Test Cricket for England and his participating in the Ashes, he said, “If I don’t make that decision of playing red-ball and just sticking to white-ball then there’s no Ashes for me. But if I do, and I’m fully fit then that’s something that I could look towards but that’s something that I’ve got to earn.”

The last time Rashid played Test Cricket was at the Caribbean last year. He said the topic of Test involvement had not come up in his recent interactions with the Test captain of England and fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root.
“I have no idea [when they last discussed Test cricket]. Maybe before New Zealand? That’s just a guess, maybe he spoke to me after that as well. But since I’ve not played Test cricket, we’ve not really spoken in that sense, because that’s a decision that I made and he respected and he didn’t interfere. So credit to him for not badgering me. We do talk about cricket generally, but Test cricket it’s probably been a few months since we talked about my ambitions,” he said.

Rashid, along with his brother Amar and the rest of his family, will be celebrating Ramadan, which begins on the 23rd of April. He said that they will be abiding by the guidelines given by the Government and celebrate the occasion in a subdued manner.

“Regardless of it being Ramadan, because of the Government advice, health and safety, the rules we have to abide by, we will definitely stick to how it is at the moment. Staying with family, not going out. Meeting up with family and friends are not in the question with what is going on in the world right now. The main thing is for us to stay home, stay safe, and look after each other,” he said.