New Zealand v England ODIs

Willey warns more will follow Rashid

England and Perth Scorchers allrounder David Willey says white-ball only players could become increasingly common

Cricket Network

17 February 2018, 01:12 PM

Adil Rashid's decision to turn his back on red-ball cricket in favour of limited overs formats could be the first of many, says England allrounder David Willey.

Rashid has become the first England player to agree a deal to play only 50-over and T20 matches for his county, signing a one-year contract with Yorkshire that will keep him out of the County Championship.

Rashid's decision has prompted some commentators to question the position of Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game, and Willey, Rashid's teammate with club and country, sees it as a natural step that others could soon pursue.

"It's to be expected. It is too much to play everything and that's cricket now," he said.

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"If you look around now with all the white-ball cricket around the world people can make a career out of that.

"People make decisions in all different careers as to what they enjoy and what suits them and it wouldn't surprise me if more guys do it over the next few years with the amount of white-ball cricket that's available throughout the year.

"Whether more people decide to do it or not is another matter but it's certainly been discussed.

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"It's just the way the game seems to be going and these Twenty20 competitions are appealing to people not only for the cricket but also financially.

"At the end of the day we have a short time playing sport – it's not something we do until we're 60 years old – and there comes a time when you have to make decisions for yourself and your family."

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Australia's Chris Lynn made headlines in the winter when he turned down a contract with the Queensland Bulls in favour of a deal with the Brisbane Heat, but his situation was based more his availability for red-ball cricket as he returned from shoulder surgery.

Lynn, who is currently in New Zealand with Australia's T20 side that is unbeaten after four games of a trans-Tasman tri-series, said playing Test cricket was still his pinnacle, but that dream was on hold temporarily as his body continues to gain strength to play the multi-day format.

England felt compelled to rest Joe Root, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali for the ongoing T20 tri-series while Australia have two squads, with the country's Test stars in South Africa ahead of a four Test series starting on March 1.

Willey has a long-held ambition of following in the footsteps of his father Peter, who played 26 Tests for England from 1976-86, but increasingly finds himself pigeon-holed as a white-ball player.

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When he swapped Northamptonshire for Headingley he spoke of his desire to hone his four-day game but has played just six championship fixtures in two years, partially due to his increased role in England's one-day set-up.

"It's probably nearly impossible to play Test cricket when you're playing so much white-ball cricket," he said.

"Last year we were barely available for any four-day cricket because of the Champions Trophy so it then becomes difficult to play regular red-ball cricket, which you need to be doing if you want to be pushing for Tests," he said.

"If you're only playing two or three games a year, you're probably not making much of a contribution to a championship title and you're certainly not going to be able to push for Test cricket, so if you are in that position you're probably thinking 'what am I playing it for?"'

Trans-Tasman T20 Tri-Series

First T20I Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets. Scorecard

Second T20I Australia beat England by five wickets. Scorecard

Third T20I Australia beat England by seven wickets. Scorecard

Fourth T20I New Zealand beat England by 12 runs. Scorecard

Fifth T20I Australia beat New Zealand by five wickets. Scorecard

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18. Scorecard

Final Australia v TBC, Eden Park, February 21. Scorecard

Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.