BARNSLEY ace Darren Gough has urged England to leave Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid in country cricket – or risk harming his development.
Rashid, named the PCA Young Player of the Year four years ago, has not featured for his country since an ineffective tour of South Africa 18 months ago.
But he has staked his claim for an international recall after producing career-best figures of 11-114 in the Tykes’ comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Worcestershire in their opening LV= County Championship clash with Worcestershire.
It was a major contribution from Rashid and would have been duly noted by Geoff Miller, England’s chief selector, who was in the stands at New Road.
Although Rashid claimed just one victim in the team’s home defeat to Durham at the weekend, the 23-year-old is close to receiving another call-up.
But Gough, who was asked by Prime Minister David Cameron to stand as a Conservative MP for the Barnsley by-election last month, feels England’s selectors should let Rashid learn his trade at Headingley for the foreseeable future.
The former Yorkshire and England fast bowler told The Star: “Graeme Swann is the bowler he is now for England because he played county cricket for a lengthy period of time, taking wickets and making runs.
“He came into the England side and was confident and knew exactly what he was doing. Spinners sometimes do get picked too early and it does affect their form.
“Adil is a confidence cricketer and he needs to be bowling all the time. You can see it in his batting. He has played some fantastic innings with the bat. He has got so much talent and for Yorkshire to do well he needs to get runs down the order at seven or eight.”
In his fledgling England career, Rashid has figured in five ODIs and five Twenty20 internationals, bagging three wickets in each form of the game.
Rashid is expected to spearhead Yorkshire’s attack as they entertain county champions Nottinghamshire today.
Gough reckons the Tykes’ best chance of securing silverware will be in the one-day format.
“It is going to be a hard season,” he said. “I think we will survive but I will be surprised if we are pushing for the title. If we are going to win anything, I think it will be in one-day cricket. That is our strength and we have got a lot of good players in that form of the game.
“We will miss Tim Bresnan when he is away with England but Ryan Sidebottom will be accurate and Adil will win games for us.
“Anthony McGrath is still a fantastic player. He might not be as fit as he used to be but he is a great batsman.”
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