Northants signing Willey hits back over 'inaccurate' contract talks claim by Yorkshire

David Willey in action for Yorkshire VikingsDavid Willey in action for Yorkshire Vikings
David Willey in action for Yorkshire Vikings
David Willey says Yorkshire's claims over the contract talks that took place at Headingley before the announcement of his switch to Northamptonshire are 'inaccurate'.

It was announced on Wednesday that the England all-rounder will leave Yorkshire at the end of this season, and that in 2023 he will rejoin his hometown club after signing a four-year contract at Wantage Road.

Darren Gough, Yorkshire's interim managing director of cricket, was quoted in a statement on the Yorkshire website saying that the club were 'unable to match Northants' offer' for the 32-year-old.

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Gough also stated that the club had 'proactively engaged' with Willey over a new contract to keep him at Headingley, but Willey, writing on Instagram, said the club's claims over contract talks were 'inaccurate'.

After the announcement on Willey's move to the County Ground, Gough said: “The club was keen to keep Dave at Headingley, but unfortunately were unable to match Northants’ offer.

“We proactively engaged with Dave on his return from the IPL at the end of May, but were not able to make an offer until our new board were in place.

"Since our first cricket strategy meeting with the new board, we have begun negotiations on a number of contracts with players and look forward to making some exciting announcements in the coming weeks.

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“Everyone at Yorkshire would like to thank Dave for his time at the club and wish him all the very best for the future.”

But Willey, who is the captain of Yorkshire’s T20 team, wrote: "The comments made by Yorkshire around my contract discussions with the club are inaccurate."

The Northampton-born player, who joined Yorkshire for the start of the 2016 season, also claimed that the events that have surrounded the club over the past couple of years made his life as a player at Headingley 'unsettling' – but that he would love to sign off his time at the club by leading them to glory in the Vitality Blast.

Yorkshire have been at the centre of controversy and investigations over racism claims.

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On Wednesday, a 'number of individuals' were charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board following an investigation into allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq, and the handling of those allegations by the club.

And Willey believes the club has thrown so much into repairing its reputation, that cricket and club's players have become overlooked somewhat, saying 'the cricket and the current players seem to be secondary at the moment to repairing the club's reputation'

"I have loved my life in Yorkshire, I have planted my roots and raised our young family here," said Willey, who is a father of two.

"Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the recent events at the club have made my work environment unsettling.

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"There are some great lads and fantastic players at Yorkshire and I hope the complications at the club will not take priority and overshadow their talents.

"The cricket and the current players seem to be secondary at the moment to repairing the club's reputation.

"It certainly felt that way for me over the past 12 months.

"I play cricket because I love the game. I just want to play somewhere that cricket is the focus and where I feel valued on and off the field.

"I’d like to thank the players and staff who have helped me during my time at Yorkshire.

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"Also, thank you to the fantastic support of Yorkshire fans and I’d love to say farewell by winning the T20 for the first time at the club."

Willey is currently on tour with the England ODI side as they prepare for a three-match series against the Netherlands in Amstelveen.