Adil Rashid returns to county cricket next week for the first time in almost three years, describing the chance to pull on a Yorkshire shirt again as a “privilege”.
The England one-day World Cup winner is set to play a quartet of Vitality Blast games for the Vikings, starting with the competition opener against Birmingham Bears at Emerald Headingley on Wednesday.
Bradfordian Rashid, 33, has not worn the White Rose since July 2018.
It will begin what is an exciting few months of cricket for the mercurial leg-spinner.
Rashid will also represent the Headingley based Northern Superchargers in the new Hundred competition before aiming to complete the limited overs international set by winning the T20 World Cup in October and November.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played for Yorkshire because of injury, availability, Covid, all that sort of stuff,” he said. “But I’m definitely looking forward to it.
“It’s always a privilege to play for Yorkshire, where I was born and bred. I can’t wait.
“I think I’m available from June 10-17, when we play four games.
“It will be good for myself to get some match practice in, but more importantly I want to help the team get off to a good start to the competition.”
Rashid’s recent unavailability for the White Rose has been down to a combination of international commitments but also a long standing shoulder injury.
“I’m fully fit and good to go,” he said. “But it’s something I have to maintain by going to the gym and things like that.
“It will take constant looking after for the rest of my career. That’s a good thing in a way because it keeps me going to the gym! I have to make sure I keep going and working on it.”
After Rashid’s week with Yorkshire, he will play T20 and one-day international cricket against Sri Lanka and Pakistan before the Hundred begins at the end of July.
After that, it is all eyes on the T20 World Cup, currently scheduled for India but possibly moved due to Covid.
The Hundred, believes Rashid, will play an important part in preparations for that tournament.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to the Hundred – a new format, new crowd, new everything.
“I think the Superchargers have a great chance in that. We have a very strong side, but so do a lot of others.
“The real excitement, for me, is the unknown. We don’t know how people are going to go about it.
“We are going to have just play the game almost and learn from there. Who is going to bowl five balls, who is going to bowl 10 balls, all that kind of thing.
“It will be a fantastic competition, a really high standard, with all the internationals from overseas plus all the very good local players.
“Performances in that will definitely stand me and all the other England players in good stead.
“Our next aim is to win the T20 World Cup. To add that to the one-day win would be pretty special.
“There is a lot of cricket to be played before then, but everything we do play in the white ball stuff is gearing up towards that.”
Rashid was speaking at Bradford Park Avenue today, where he was involved in a Dynamos Cricket coaching session for local youngsters. He was joined by fellow Northern Superchargers stars Lauren Winfield-Hill and Phoebe Graham.