The Yorkshireman was not a part of the 14-man training squad that travelled to Spain for four days as part of a bonding trip with new head coach Trevor Bayliss, which was widely viewed as an indicator of the squad the hosts would choose to take on Australia at SSE Swalec.
Seamers Mark Footitt and Liam Plunkett, who did travel to Almeria, miss out, with England including the full XI that played in both Tests against New Zealand earlier in the summer, plus Rashid and Middlesex paceman Steven Finn.
Rashid is the only player in the squad yet to make his bow at Test level although he bolstered his reputation in the recent one-day series against New Zealand, where he took eight wickets in five matches.
His call-up leaves Moeen Ali’s position in the side under some scrutiny after the Worcestershire all-rounder under-performed in the Test series in the West Indies and against the Kiwis.
National selector James Whitaker was keen to stress that the inclusion of both Moeen and Rashid was to give coach Bayliss and captain Alastair Cook plenty of options on what could be a turning pitch in south Wales.
Whitaker said: “There are no huge surprises in the squad.
“Adil Rashid’s inclusion provides Alastair and Trevor with plenty of bowling options and the surface at Cardiff will dictate who makes the final XI.
“Within the squad there are players who have plenty of experience of Ashes cricket and that knowledge will I’m sure be useful for the players who are yet to experience a home Ashes series.
“There has been some very good cricket played so far this summer and we are aware that we will need to build on that over the next seven weeks if we are to win back the Ashes.”
England squad to take on Australia in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff:??Cook (captain), Root (vice-captain), Ali, Anderson, Ballance, Bell, Broad, Buttler, Finn, Lyth, Stokes, Wood, Rashid.