Former England fast bowler Sajid Mahmood believes Adil Rashid is central to England’s hopes at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Leg-spinner Rashid, a peripheral figure in England’s Test team, has taken 125 ODI wickets since the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand - the most of any bowler in the world.

This vast number of scalps, along with an impressive ability to take wickets at key times in the middle overs of matches, has helped drive England to an unbeaten run of ten consecutive bilateral ODI series without defeat.

But while the explosive batting and accurate fast bowling have stolen the headlines, former quick Mahmood believes it’s a player of a different pace who should be taking the attentions.

“I think the crucial man who, if he does well we’ve got a good chance, is going to be Adil Rashid," said Mahmood, on hand to welcome fans to the first Super Saturday of the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, in Manchester.

“He’s a massive wicket-taker who breaks up good partnerships but, saying that, you’ve also got Liam Plunkett who does a similar sort of thing, taking wickets in the middle period and then you’ve got Mark Wood and Chris Woakes who take wickets up front.”

There has been a surge in praise for Rashid from all corners recently including England captain Eoin Morgan, along with a host of former players.

But Mahmood – who represented his country in the 2007 World Cup – was also adamant the team have an attack suited to all conditions and with all bases covered, heading into this summer’s event as home favourites.

“I think England have got a strong all-round team,” he added.

“The batting speaks for itself, it has done for the past two to three years but bowling-wise, they’ve had a couple of injuries with Woakes being injured a few times but Adil and Mo have been pretty consistent the last two or three years.

“There’s a lot of talk about Jofra Archer coming in but I’m not sure he’ll play much seen as he’s not had much experience and it’s such a big tournament.

“England have got people like Plunkett to still come in, Wood did well away in the winter. 

"They’ve got pace, they’ve got people who can hit a decent area and move the ball a bit and they’ve got a good spin attack so I definitely think they’ve got a well-rounded bowling attack.”

  • ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, commences 100-day tour of England and Wales and will be at over 100 locations and events before arriving back in London ready for the opening match on May 30