David Willey thinks cricket and current players are “secondary” to restoring Yorkshire’s reputation

David Willey thinks cricket and current players are "secondary" to restoring Yorkshire's reputation

After it was announced that David Willey would be leaving Yorkshire to rejoin Northamptonshire at the conclusion of the season, he argued that the club prioritised restoring their reputation over sport.

The England and Wales Cricket Board charged Yorkshire and a “number of individuals” on Wednesday, following an examination into Azeem Rafiq’s racism charges and the club’s treatment of those allegations.

The 32-year-old England all-rounder moved from Wantage Road to Headingley ahead of the 2016 season and quickly established himself as a key member of Yorkshire’s white-ball teams.

Willey explained he has elected to leave and accused Yorkshire of making “inaccurate” comments over his contract negotiations.

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

“I have loved my life in Yorkshire, I have planted my roots and raised our young family here,” Willey said on Instagram.

“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.

“The comments made my Yorkshire around my contract discussions with the club are inaccurate.” Willey has opted to return to Northamptonshire, where he made 197 appearances between 2009 and 2015, on a four-year deal.

Yorkshire said in a statement they had wanted to retain Willey’s services but could not compete with Northamptonshire. Interim managing director of cricket Darren Gough told Yorkshire’s official website: “The club was keen to keep Dave at Headingley, but unfortunately were unable to match Northants’ offer.

“Wantage Road is home. I grew up playing on the outfield, behind the stands and in the groundsman’s shed. When I think back to my first introduction to cricket, I think of Northants. “My love and passion for Northamptonshire has always been there and I hope I can give the club more than just my runs and wickets.

Willey told Northamptonshire’s official website: “The best journey takes you home. “Everyone at Yorkshire would like to thank Dave for his time at the club and wish him all the very best for the future.”

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