Adil Rashid sets sights on being part of England's World Cup defence

Adil Rashid sets his sights on being part of England’s World Cup title defence in 2023 as leg-spinner says he will consider returning to Test action for next year’s India tour

  • Rashid will turn 35 during the next World Cup tournament in India in 2023
  • But leg-spinner says it would be lovely to help England defend their crown
  • He struggled with a shoulder injury but claimed 11 wickets during last year’s win
  • Rashid hasn’t played Test cricket since January 2019 but would consider return
  • He says he will think about returning to Test arena ahead of 2021 tour of India 

Adil Rashid wants to help England defend their World Cup crown in 2023 – even though he will turn 35 while the tournament takes place.

England’s white-ball leg-spinner is spending the lockdown at home in Bradford, where he has been playing driveway cricket with his brothers and working on the troublesome shoulder that almost ruled him out of last summer’s triumph.

But the time off has also allowed him to consider his future. And with the next World Cup scheduled to take place in India – where pitches tend to be conducive to spin – there is a clear goal on the horizon.

Adil Rashid (left) parades the World Cup trophy with captain Eoin Morgan following England’s dramatic Super Over victory over New Zealand at Lord’s last year

Rashid says he would like to be part of England’s World Cup title defence in India in 2023

‘My aim is to play for England as long as possible,’ he said. ‘I have a vision in terms of achieving that: the 2023 World Cup would be lovely. A lot can happen in three years, but that’s something that I would love to do again.’

England leading wicket-takers in ODIs 

269 – James Anderson

234 – Darren Gough

178 – Stuart Broad

168 – Andrew Flintoff

146 – Adil Rashid

145- Ian Botham

Rashid required two injections to get through the 2019 competition, won by England following a breathless super over in the final against New Zealand at Lord’s. 

And though he was not quite himself, managing a modest 11 wickets in 11 games, he still showed his class with a crucial three-for in the semi-final hammering of Australia at Edgbaston.

That was a reminder of his importance to Eoin Morgan’s team – and confirmed why he was the world’s leading wicket-taker in one-day internationals between the 2015 and the 2019 tournaments, claiming 130 victims with his leg-breaks and googlies.

It’s easy to forget that only four men – Jimmy Anderson, Darren Gough, Stuart Broad and Andrew Flintoff – have taken more one-day wickets for England than Rashid’s 146. 

Rashid successfully appeal for the wicket of Australia’s Marcus Stoinis during England’s thumping semi-final victory at Edgbaston last year

Rashid celebrates with close friend and fellow spinner Moeen Ali after the triumph at Lord’s

The next spinners in the list are a long way behind: Graeme Swann on 104 and Moeen Ali, Rashid’s good friend, on 85.

‘I’m not really fussed if people praise me or not,’ he said. ‘As long as I know that I am trying my best. Morgs knows what I’m capable of doing and what I have done over the past five years to help England.’

Rashid has not played red-ball cricket for either England or Yorkshire since the Bridgetown Test in January 2019, preferring to concentrate on the limited-overs formats. 

But with England set to play five Tests in India in early 2021 – he took 23 wickets in a series there in 2016-17 – there may be a route back.

‘If my mind is set on doing something, I will be 100 per cent focused on that,’ he said. ‘I made the decision of playing white-ball cricket for the past year or so, and this decision will stand until September. From there I’ll reassess.

Rashid hasn’t played red ball cricket for England since the Test with West Indies in Barbados 

Frm in the recent T20 and one-day series in South Africa have offered Rashid encouragement

‘If I have the motivation, my shoulder is 100 per cent and I feel I can get back into red-ball cricket, that is something I would consider.’

Rashid admitted he had not spoken to England Test captain Joe Root ‘for a few months’ about a return to the five-day game. 

But his confidence in his shoulder to stand up to the rigours of international cricket was boosted by his performances earlier in the year in South Africa, where he took three wickets in his first ODI since the World Cup final, and proved hard to hit during England’s 2-1 victory in the Twenty20 series.

‘South Africa was a big turning point for me. The shoulder was stronger and a lot better than it was in New Zealand. I was bowling as quickly as I’ve bowled in my career, so I was seeing a big difference.

‘If I stay fit, if my shoulder gets stronger, then I can hopefully play for a long time.’


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