PLUN­KETT CALL-UP SHINES LIGHT ON COUNTY DILEMMA

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Wa­ters CRICKET COR­RE­SPON­DENT Email: chris.wa­ters@ypn.co.uk Twit­ter: @CWater­sYPS­port

MAR­TYN MOXON says that Liam Plun­kett’s last-minute call-up to the Indian Premier League high­lights how clubs are stuck be­tween a rock and a hard place ahead of key talks de­signed to pro­tect the county game.

The York­shire direc­tor of cricket will chair a meet­ing of his county coun­ter­parts at Edg­bas­ton to­mor­row to dis­cuss such is­sues as play­ers’ in­volve­ment in global T20 com­pe­ti­tions like the IPL in an ef­fort to find a col­lec­tive so­lu­tion.

Al­though York­shire will be fi­nan­cially rec­om­pensed af­ter Plun­kett was snapped up by Delhi Dare­dev­ils on Satur­day morn­ing as a re­place­ment for the in­jured South African pace bowler Kag­iso Rabada, it pales into in­signif­i­cance for Moxon against the loss of the Eng­land man for the open­ing five Cham­pi­onship games of the sea­son.

York­shire were specif­i­cally hop­ing that Plun­kett’s pace and bounce would ex­ploit con­di­tions in the matches against Som­er­set at Taun­ton and against Sur­rey at the Oval, and they felt in no po­si­tion to pre­vent him from agree- ing a circa USD 300,000 deal that rules him out for more than a third of the Cham­pi­onship cam­paign.

York­shire also play five of their eight Royal Lon­don Cup group games be­fore the IPL ends on May 27, with Plun­kett the 11th English player to be signed for this year’s event.

“It’s an­other ex­am­ple of us (the coun­ties) be­ing be­tween a rock and a hard place,” said Moxon. “Sur­rey have had the same thing with Tom Curran.

“What do you do, stop a player go­ing and earn­ing a shed-load of money and have him dis­ap­pointed around the dress­ing room for not al­low­ing him to go, etc?

“It’s a lose-lose re­ally for the coun­ties, and it’s one of the items that we’ll be dis­cussing on Tues- day be­cause, as coun­ties, we feel pow­er­less at the mo­ment.”

Moxon and his fel­low di­rec­tors of cricket will seek con­sen­sus in terms of salary struc­tures for T20 glo­be­trot­ters, fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion to coun­ties and how best to pre­vent crick­eters play­ing clubs off against each other in an ef­fort to achieve more money/ flex­i­bil­ity.

They will also dis­cuss the in­creas­ing threat of play­ers giv­ing up red-ball cricket to chase T20 cash, a la York­shire’s Adil Rashid, and the fu­ture struc­ture and pro­tec­tion of the Cham­pi­onship. Moxon will then present the find­ings to the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board.

Plun­kett, 33, is re­cov­er­ing from in­jury him­self af­ter suf­fer­ing a ham­string strain play­ing for Eng­land, al­though the de­mands of bowl­ing four overs in T20 are some­what less ar­du­ous to bowl­ing long spells in the Cham­pi­onship.

“Our take on it is that Liam is fit to bowl – he was due to play in the sec­ond team next week at Bris­tol – but he’s not match-fit,” said Moxon. “Be­ing bru­tally hon­est, we left it to Eng­land and Liam to de­cide whether he felt fit enough to bowl in the IPL.

“He’s bowled with us in­doors and deemed him­self fit enough to go and play, so we’ll see.

“We’ve got cover, but that can change quickly, and it’s ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing from our point of view.”

MAR­TYN MOXON: Will chair a sum­mit to dis­cuss pro­tect­ing county as­sets.

LIAM PLUN­KETT: York­shire bowler earned a late call-up to the Indian Premier League.

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