Geoffrey Boycott has branded Adil Rashid a “spoilt brat” who has no understanding of loyalty and is setting a poor example to young cricketers.
The leg-spinner has come in for fierce criticism following his inclusion in the England Test squad for the India series, despite his self-imposed exile from first-class cricket with Yorkshire this year.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, former England and Yorkshire batsman Boycott said: “He should never have been handed a Test recall. In two years England have gone around in a circle. By picking Rashid, they are selecting the unselectable: a player who will not play four-day Championship cricket for Yorkshire because his heart is not in it, but he will play for England in Test matches. Absurd? Yes.
“At the start of the season Yorkshire had the chance to say to Rashid: ‘You play all forms of cricket or you can leave.’
“This is not setting the right example to our youngsters and we expect more loyalty, especially from a home-grown player. Sadly Yorkshire did not have the balls to do that.
“I accept other counties would have snapped him up, but Yorkshire have put so much time, effort and money into helping this kid develop into an international cricketer. They have never stood in his way, wherever he played around the world, and he repays them by showing he could not give a t*** about the club.
“Loyalty works two ways, but it appears Adil wants to be free to play anywhere in the world there is a one-day tournament that pays him big bucks.”
Michael Vaughan labelled Rashid’s selection “ridiculous” and a “stab in the back for county cricket”, with Rashid responding angrily by saying his former team-mate’s remarks were “stupid”. He also accused Yorkshire of being “disrespectful” in their reaction to the news and cast doubt on his future at Headingley.
“He still does not get it that he will not play for Yorkshire but will play for England and thinks Yorkshire should be thrilled for him,” Boycott added. “He is already thinking of moving on, so do not wait for him to make the decision – just tell him he can go. He has no allegiance to Yorkshire.”
Boycott said Rashid reacted to Vaughan’s criticism “like a spoilt child”.
“Trashing a great England captain and superb batsman does not go down well with the cricketing public,” he said. “Let me tell Adil that Vaughan will be remembered as one of the greatest England captains and an elegant, superb batsman. In 10 years nobody will remember Adil’s Test match performances.”
Rashid has returned to the Test fold ahead of the India series, more than 18 months after winning the last of his 10 caps and despite his self-imposed exile from first-class cricket this year.
Vaughan initially branded the divisive selection as “ridiculous” and a “stab in the back for county cricket”, drawing the ire of Rashid, who said his former Yorkshire team-mate’s remarks were “stupid”.
The Ashes 2005-winning skipper, though, believes Rashid had the opportunity to prove he deserved a Test lifeline in Yorkshire’s championship clash against Lancashire – a fixture in which England regulars Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and James Anderson featured.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live‘s Tuffers and Vaughan programme, Vaughan said: “If I’m stupid to suggest that he should have played a four-day game leading into a Test series against the number one team in the world – I firmly believe the cricketing world has gone nuts if he thinks he doesn’t have to do that.
“This all could have been put to bed if England had sat him down and said he has to play in that four-day game.
“I cannot be wrong that I’m asking someone to prepare their body, their mind. I don’t think he has prepared well enough.
“It’s not just me that has criticised him so he can come at me all he wants, but it’s our job to have an opinion and my opinion is that if someone is not playing four-day cricket in our schooling ground to prepare Test match cricketers, I don’t think you should be able to play in a Test match.”
Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (4-33) and paceman Kagiso Rabada (4-41) were the stars for South Africa as the hosts battled to recover from slumping to 36-5. Kusal Perera (81) and Thisara Perera (49) shared a sixth-wicket stand of 92, but Sri Lanka were dismissed for 193 after just 34.3 overs.
The Proteas lost early wickets but skipper Faf du Plessis (47) and Jean-Paul Duminy (53 not out) guided South Africa to their victory target, reaching 196 for five with 114 balls of their 50 overs still remaining.
Watch the highlights of the first ODI below.