Adil Rashid admits his career has been on a roller-coaster for much of the past year but credits focus and faith with helping him emerge unscathed.
As things stand the 30-year-old leg-spinner is in fine standing, a first-choice pick for his country in all three formats on the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka, a new contract with Yorkshire freshly signed and the chance to feature in both a World Cup and Ashes on home soil next year.
Yet that hardly tells the tale of his last 12 months. Having been overlooked in favour of the inexperienced Mason Crane for last winter’s Ashes trip to Australia, Rashid opted out of red-ball cricket by agreeing a limited-overs only deal at Headingley.
The move caused consternation in the domestic game but nowhere near as much as his subsequent recall to the Test side in July – a decision Rashid’s former Yorkshire team-mate Michael Vaughan deemed “a stab in the back” for the county system.
A parting of the ways with the White Rose seemed an inevitable next step as rumours swelled of a breakdown in the relationship but Rashid recently signed a new all-format deal.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in Colombo he showed no sign of resentment or weariness from a tricky period.
“I’ve been playing there since 11 years old. In my heart that was home for me. To leave would have been a tough, tough decision,” he said.
“Me and Yorkshire had a real discussion and sorted things out. I’m happy I signed the contract.
“If it was five or six years ago it could have been a different story, you might get angry…things might have been said that you don’t want to say: you get anxious, you get frustrated, you get nervous.
“I don’t really think of any of that now. I don’t take note of what people say about me now, whether it’s good or not so good. They can say as they please, nothing really fazes me in that sense.”
Rashid acknowledges he may not have had the simplest of relationships with head coach Andrew Gale but is positive about their future together.
“These things happen between players and coaches. You’re always going to have ups and downs in any job,” he said.
“There’s always going to be some tension or friction. But it’s nice to know that it’s put behind us now. Hopefully we can kick on and get a good friendship.”
Rashid puts his calm outlook down in some part to his Muslim faith and also to a growing acceptance of the influential status he has as a high-profile British Asian sportsman.
“I’m a bit more relaxed over the last five or six years because I’m a bit more into my religion, which teaches you to take a day at a time and stay calm and accept whatever happens,” he said.
“With me and Mo (Moeen Ali) being role models as well…we have to set a good example for people watching.
“We’ve got a big support, especially in the Asian community, whether it’s Bradford, Birmingham or Pakistan. If we are in the limelight we must be showing good personalities rather than being in the papers for the wrong things.
“People look up to you so it’s about setting a good example so that when they’re coming through, they see that and know it’s achievable.”