England v India: Adil Rashid selection does not devalue county cricket - Ed Smith

Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid has taken 38 wickets in 10 Tests for England, all of which have been away from home
England v India, first Test
Venue: Edgbaston Date: 1-5 August Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and the BBC Sport website. In-play clips and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Full tour details

Adil Rashid's selection in the England squad for the first Test against India does not devalue county cricket, says national selector Ed Smith.

The leg-spinner, 30, was chosen despite signing a white-ball only contract with Yorkshire for the 2018 season.

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon said county clubs are "feeling a little bit like doormats".

But Smith told BBC Sport that "the rest of the selections are all anchored on the supremacy of county cricket".

He added: "In no way do I devalue county cricket or think that it's something we shouldn't focus on."

Smith said Rashid, who was named in a 13-man squad, was committed to being available for England for the rest of the summer and the winter tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

Rashid played the most recent of his 10 Tests in India in December 2016, and has not played a first-class match since September 2017.

However, he was a key figure in England's one-day series win over India this month, taking six wickets at an average of 25 in three games.

Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur said the county were "surprised" by Rashid's recall, while ex-England captain Michael Vaughan called it "ridiculous".

"With this case in particular we feel a little bit aggrieved," Moxon said. "Counties have to pick up the consequences of what decisions England make."

The first match of the five-Test series begins on 1 August at Edgbaston.

'His head has been turned'

Moxon said he spoke to Rashid on Friday about his possible inclusion in the Test squad, but said he "hadn't made his mind up".

Rashid did not play in the Roses match at Old Trafford from 22-24 August, with Yorkshire signing leg-spinner Josh Poysden on a one-match loan from Warwickshire.

"On Tuesday afternoon Ed Smith rang me to tell me they were considering picking him. We had a frank exchange," former England batsman Moxon, 58, said.

"Clearly when England asked him if he was going to change his mind - bearing in mind we asked him if he was changing his mind earlier in the season as well, and he said not - his head's been turned."

If Rashid plays at Edgbaston, he will not be available for Yorkshire in the latter stages of the T20 Blast.

"We're obviously disappointed because we feel we've acted in good faith with everything we've done regarding Adil and his contract," Moxon added.

Smith said that from next year, individuals who want to play Test cricket would need a red-ball contract in county cricket.

"We're very clear that this is an unusual, one-off set of circumstances," he said.

"Rashid was fully available, wanted to play Test cricket again, committed, and we took the option of selecting him in the squad."

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