Swann - Rashid needs time
England's No.1 spinner says pretender should be given time to develop
Last Updated: 16/02/10 6:26pm
Rashid: Bags of talent
Graeme Swann believes that Adil Rashid can rival him as England's number one spin bowler provided he has sufficient time to develop his skills.
"I've no doubt he can be a world-class bowler one day, it's just about getting the cricket under his belt."
Graeme Swann on Adil Rashid Quotes of the week
The fine form Swann has displayed during the past 18 months has propelled him to become his country's first choice, but he views Yorkshire leg-spinner Rashid as an important player for the future.
Although Rashid has already toured with the Test team and played in the last World Twenty20, he is currently honing his skills with the Lions.
He and James Tredwell, who joins England on their forthcoming tour of Bangladesh, are expected to feature for the shadow side when they meet Andy Flower's senior XI in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday - Rashid's 22nd birthday.
Having himself had a brief flirtation with international cricket back in 1999 before waiting a full nine years to make his Test bow, Swann believes it is right for Rashid to develop gradually.
"Adil's got bags of talent and he's still a young lad," the 30-year-old Nottinghamshire bowler said.
"You don't really develop as a spinner until you've played a lot of cricket and the more cricket Adil can get under his belt, the better he can be.
"I've no doubt he can be a world-class bowler one day, it's just about getting the cricket under his belt.
"He's still an exceptional cricketer now, he just needs to play a bit more cricket and get to know his own action that bit better."
Wednesday's match is one of just five England have in the format before their first match in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.
One way to gather experience would be in the Indian Premier League, although England players were overlooked at the recent player auction owing to their short window of availability.
Swann was one of those to miss out and while understanding the decisions of IPL franchises, he also believes he and his England colleagues need all the T20 experience they can get.
"It is disappointing of course but you fully understand it when you're only available for a three-week window," he said. "I certainly wouldn't throw any money at an English player if you can only have them for three or four games.
"That's a shame for us as players because I think that if we are going to develop then in an ideal world we would be made available for a lot more of the IPL, but that isn't for me to decide.
"It would be nice if we had a chance to play a bit more Twenty20 cricket and in the next few years I'm sure that will be the case.
"As it is we can't complain about that; we just need to use the games we've got to make sure we're good enough to compete and hopefully win in the West Indies."