Adil Rashid has had plenty to celebrate recently, helping South Australia to their first trophy for 15 years before flying to the West Indies just in time for his 23rd birthday.
On his arrival in the Caribbean he went straight into the England Lions squad for their third match in the WICB four-day league, against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain.
Rashid joins Yorkshire colleagues Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth, with Jonny Bairstow unable to get into a strong batting line-up, despite making 81 not out in a warm-up match against St Kitts and Nevis.
The Lions topped 500 in both their first two games and Lyth made two half-centuries, while Gale hit 37 in the high-scoring draw against Barbados, which featured an innings of 182 by Leicestershire’s James Taylor.
Leg-spinner Rashid was the third highest wicket-taker, with ten in seven games, in Australia’s Big Bash Twenty20 tournament. He helped South Australia’s Redbacks to victory in the final against New South Wales in Adelaide.
He played alongside two other spinners throughout the competition and often opened the bowling. “I’m going to go back to Yorkshire and tell them all about this,” Rashid told the Guardian. “In England they often play with a spinner or two in the Twenty20 but not three. And it’s really worked. It’s not about just firing the ball in.
“We’re encouraged to take the pace off the ball and to mix up our deliveries, so I bowl leg-breaks, googlies, sliders, the lot. Anything to avoid being predictable.
“The difference between the Big Bash and the Twenty20 in England is that here we play one or two games a week. In England it’s more like three or four. So here there is time to rest after matches and then prepare for the next one.”
Rashid’s best performance was in the second match against Victoria, when he took three for 15 from four overs against a side featuring Brad Hodge, Dwayne Bravo, David Hussey and Cameron White. Against Tasmania, Rashid opened the bowling and took three for 20.
Rashid was left kicking his heels when England picked him for the squad to tour South Africa last winter and Yorkshire’s director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, was not happy with his treatment.
After he spoke to the selectors it was decided to give the all-rounder a break in the first half of this winter and he was left out of the Ashes squad and the Performance Squad. But after his success in Australia he now has the chance to remind the England hierarchy of his undoubted talents.