Liam Plunkett has revealed his disappointment at Yorkshire’s decision to drop him during the Royal London Cup, shortly after his return from the IPL, and indicated he is open to moving to another county when his current deal expires. The comments follow on from David Willey’s revelation that Yorkshire threatened to tear up his contract when he signed with the Chennai Super Kings.
Plunkett, in the final year of his county contract, made seven IPL appearances for Delhi Daredevils but following his return from India he told he was dropped by Yorkshire’s director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, for the 50-over fixture against Northamptonshire after he took 1 for 76 from eight overs against Lancashire earlier this month. Speaking ahead of England’s second ODI against Australia in Cardiff, Plunkett said he disagreed with Yorkshire’s assessment that he was “undercooked”.
“Yes, I was disappointed,” Plunkett said. “I’d played the previous games and felt I went all right. We won the previous game, so I felt in a good place – but I had one bad performance, and if they want to drop me on that … They said I wasn’t ready, that I looked undercooked.”
In what might seem an unusual sequence of events, days after being dropped for a domestic fixture Plunkett was selected in England’s playing XI to face Scotland in the same format. Yorkshire and then-coach Jason Gillespie were given credit for helping Plunkett resurrect his international after leaving Durham in 2012, but he now appears set to move on.
“I just felt I was getting back into it,” Plunkett said. “That was the decision they took … I feel I was coming into a good place and I feel I can help win games for Yorkshire so obviously I was disappointed and I let them know on that.
“It’s my last year and I went in for a chat with Martyn Moxon, and obviously as you get a little bit older you maybe think about your base salary coming down and you’re playing for incentives and stuff but I didn’t really get offered anything. They just said we’ll look into it in the next month or so but it gives me a right to speak to other counties and it gives me that option and I’m looking to do that.”
Plunkett, along with the rest of the England attack, was hammered by Scotland’s batsmen at The Grange, where he took 2 for 85, but after making changes to his run up he felt his rhythm return at The Oval.
“I think in the IPL I came a little bit wider and tried to angle the ball in a little bit and skid it on to the batters,” he said. “But I think my strength is to be on top of the ball, use my bounce and bowl that hard length. I think when I came in I was trying to angle it in a little bit and I was bowling a few wides down the leg side.
“I played against Lancs and struggled coming off it. So I just looked at a bit of video footage and in the last couple of games – especially the last game – I felt a lot better, I felt my timing came back and my lengths were getting better.”
Even if Plunkett bowls well for the rest of the summer, he will relinquish his place in the ODI side for at least two of England’s matches in Sri Lanka in October, when he will marry his partner, Emeleah Erb. The couple set the wedding date before England’s tour dates were finalised.
“We planned because originally it was a Test series that was there and I didn’t think I’d be around the Test squad,” Plunkett said. “It’s been eleven years, it’s been long enough so I thought I’d better get married.
“We did look at schedules and the best time to do it. There were flights booked from America and a lot of guests coming over and everything was booked, so it was so hard to change it then.
“I’m really excited to get married but I am going to miss part of that series. All I can do is try and do well for England this summer and be a part of that team and [make them] think well, he might miss a few games, can we get him for the rest of that Sri Lanka series and keep me in mind going forward.”
“I’m so excited and can’t wait for the day that I’m not going to change and ruin everything for her.”