Yorkshire forced to deny Rashid rift
Yorkshire have been forced to deny a rift with their legspinner Adil Rashid, with the start of the Championship season only a few hours away.
Rashid was quoted in the Independent on Tuesday as saying that if his season did not go well he would insist on going to another county on loan - the same route followed by Ajmal Shahzad, whose disenchantment with Yorkshire led him to play out last season with Lancashire before joining Nottinghamshire on a three-year deal.
A statement from Yorkshire said that the interview had taken place on January 24 and that Rashid had apologised to the captain, Andrew Gale, for the embarrassment caused.
Rashid only took 16 wickets at 41 runs each in 10 Championship matches last season and his batting fared equally badly - 129 runs at 16.12. His reputation as an exciting England legspinner in the making has collapsed, as he has even fallen out of recent Lions squads.
"Now is the time to draw the line, and if it happens again I'll say: 'OK, I'll go out on loan somewhere else to play'," he said in the original interview. "I hope it doesn't come down to that. I've been playing here seven years and I want to stay. But I have a career and I can't waste another year.
"It's hard to come straight on and hit your length and line with every delivery if you're hardly bowling and the coaches and people around you don't give you the backing."
Rashid said that he accepted some of the blame, but it had to be shared with the captains and the coaches. "If a player's not performing, don't just all of a sudden disrespect him, or think: 'Oh, he's nothing now' then as soon as he starts playing well: 'OK, I'll respect him again now'.
"The captain knows what I can do because I've got 200-plus first-class wickets. He should have thought: 'OK, he's done this in the past, I need to back him.' If I don't get that from the captain obviously my confidence is going to go down."
In response, Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of cricket, said: "It is disappointing and frustrating that this article has been used on the eve of the season. Although an interview was conducted in January, the way Adil has worked and behaved throughout the winter would not suggest to me that we have a problem.
"Adil has worked extremely hard and has been a vibrant member of the squad. He is someone who is valued at the club and all the staff here are committed to helping him become a consistent performer and fulfil his obvious potential."
There was also the sound of backtracking from Rashid. "It was an error of judgement to make those comments to the media back in January," he said. "Yorkshire is a great club and there is a very positive atmosphere within the squad. I just want to concentrate on my game and work hard to be part of Yorkshire's aim for success in 2013."