Yorkshire should have told Rashid “off you go, mate” says legend Gough

Darren Gough.
Darren Gough.
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DARREN GOUGH believes that Yorkshire should have told Adil Rashid to ‘sling his hook’.

The former Yorkshire and England fast bowler said that he would not have accepted Rashid’s demand for just a white-ball contract.

Rashid last week turned his back on the first-class game, saying that he would be going “through the motions” if he played for Yorkshire in the County Championship this season.

The leg-spinner – who is the club’s beneficiary for 2018 – hopes instead to land lucrative T20 deals around the globe.

“If I were Yorkshire, I would say, ‘Off you go, mate’,” Gough, a former captain and team-mate of Rashid, said on Talk Sport’s Cricket Week show.

“I’m hugely disappointed in him; it’s a ridiculous decision.

“He’s a leg-spinner and bats at six or seven, and he’s one of the reasons why they (Yorkshire) have won titles in the past. They’re going to miss him now, and it’s too late to go out there and find another leg-spinner just like that; it’s a special art.

“They’ve already made their overseas picks, with (Kane) Williamson and (Cheteshwar) Pujara, and they might have had a totally different pick.”

Fears that Rashid’s decision would open a Pandora’s box of red-ball drop-outs seems to have materialised.

Alex Hales, Rashid’s England one-day team-mate, yesterday followed suit by signing only a white-ball contract with Notts for the next two seasons, increasing fears that more top players will snub first-class cricket.

In a statement on Twitter, Hales said: “For the next 18 months I’m excited to focus entirely on limited overs cricket and want to be part of a Notts team that retains the white-ball double and a World Cup-winning squad with England.

“The decision to focus on my white-ball game wasn’t taken lightly, or on the spur of the moment; it’s one I’ve thought long and hard about. It’s also one I’ve discussed at length with the Notts management.”

As with Yorkshire and Rashid, there has been no punitive action from Notts against Hales.

“We are looking forward to Alex being involved again with us for the next two years as he was integral to our success in 50 and 20-over cricket last summer,” said Notts director of cricket Mick Newell.

“Alex is entitled to make himself available for whatever format he wants to play, and we respect his decision.

“He’s an outstanding white-ball player, and we look forward to him helping us win more trophies in that format of the game.”

Rashid will not take part in Yorkshire’s two-week pre-season tour to South Africa, starting on March 7.

England’s one-day series in New Zealand does not finish until March 10, and it has been decided that there is little point in Rashid joining the later stages of the county tour, with Yorkshire’s first white-ball match not taking place until May 18.

While Rashid sits out the start of the English summer, instead of assisting the club in their first five Championship games as they pursue a third title in five years, Eoin Morgan, his England one-day captain, has made himself available for Middlesex.

Morgan, a long-time white-ball specialist who has not played a first-class match for almost three years, has put himself forward for Championship selection having also missed out on an Indian Premier League contract.

Yorkshire’s 20-man squad for their pre-season tour includes pace bowler Liam Plunkett, who was last week ruled out of the New Zealand ODI series with a hamstring injury. Plunkett will step up his recovery at the club’s Potchefstroom base, while Yorkshire and England team-mate David Willey will join the tour on March 14 after the ODI series.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow are unavailable due to the New Zealand Test series that starts on March 22.

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