England’s dismal World Cup campaign hit another low point on Wednesday when David Willey announced his retirement from the national team, while former captain Michael Vaughan described the player’s treatment as “disgraceful”.
Willey, whose recent performances were among the few positives in a fleeting series of appearances that took England to the bottom of the World Cup table, was the only member of the India squad who was not present when the new central contracts were signed were handed out a week ago.
Vaughan didn’t blame the BBC’s Test Match Special when he said: “(Willey) has been England’s best player in the last three games. England gave out 29 contracts and he was not worthy of a one-year contract, which I found shocking. The way he was treated at this World Cup was disgraceful.
“You’ve got a player playing in a World Cup, there’s a T20 World Cup next June and even if you think at that point that David Willey won’t be in the squad for the T20 World Cup, he’s probably injured.” away from being in that 15. So you can’t tell me you don’t want to take care of someone like David Willey. I don’t understand how you can give 29 contracts but not one to someone who plays the best at the World Cup.”
England’s chief executive of men’s cricket, Rob Key, admitted that Willey – who took five wickets in three games and had the best economy rate of the six fast bowlers England used in India – was “not pleased” about the contract snub. The player perfectly channeled his growing frustration against the hosts in Lucknow at the weekend, picking up a fine three for 45, including star batsman Virat Kohli for a duck, but has now decided to walk away.
In an emotional statement posted on InstagramWilley said: “I never wanted this day to come. Ever since I was a little boy I dreamed of playing for England. I wore the shirt with great pride and gave the badge on my chest my best shot.”