County news – Can Worcestershire keep Tongue tied down?

County news – Can Worcestershire keep Tongue tied down?

Josh Tongue was quick to talk up Worcestershire’s role in him winning his first Test cap for England against Ireland at Lord’s this week, but it remains to be seen if he will still be at the county in 2024.

Tongue is the first Worcestershire player to make a men’s Test debut for England since Moeen Ali in 2014, and said on Tuesday that his debut would be “a massive thing” for the club. “There are a lot of people at Worcester who have influenced my career,” he added.

But Tongue is among a number of Worcestershire players whose deals with the county are due to end this year and June 1, the day of his debut, also marks the date when county cricketers whose contracts expire at the end of a season are free to talk to other clubs.

Jack Haynes, the 22-year-old batter, is also out of contract this season, and losing either player would be a significant blow for Worcestershire. Both Haynes and Tongue are graduates of the club’s academy, and were part of England Lions’ tour to Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Worcestershire have enjoyed a strong start to the 2023 season on the pitch: they are joint-third in Division Two of the County Championship with two wins from six and have won all three of their T20 Blast games to date.

But off it, they are in a state of flux. The club reported an annual loss of just over £200,000 for 2022 and their financial health is dependent on ECB distributions, which account for around 60% of their annual income.

The club announced an intention to appoint a director of cricket in July 2022 but the position remains vacant, with Paul Pridgeon – the head of their ‘cricket steering group’, an unpaid role – in charge of contract negotiations with players and their representatives.

Elsewhere, a number of players who have been part of recent England squads are out of contract. James Bracey and David Payne’s deals with Gloucestershire are up at the end of the year, while Dan Lawrence – who was today released from the England Test squad for T20 Blast duty – is in the final year of his Essex deal and Jordan Cox is in the same situation at Kent.

Matt Parkinson, who made his Test debut a year ago this week, dropped out of Lancashire’s Championship side earlier this year and is also in the final year of his contract. He is now free to speak to other counties as he weighs up his future.

Parkinson played one game on loan at Durham earlier this year, but they are understood to have lined up his twin brother Callum as their main spin-bowling target, having relied on overseas spinners in the Championship this season.

The opening of county cricket’s ‘transfer window’ comes at a time when player contracts are up for discussion, with directors of cricket recently calling for an “urgent” review into the standard 12-month contract due to the proliferation of English players involved in franchise tournaments around the world.

Source link

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Sports