England all-rounder David Willey has agreed to link up with Chennai Super Kings for the 2018 season of the Indian Premier League.
Willey comes in after Chennai lost Kedar Jadhav to an injury sustained during their opening game of the new season against Mumbai Indians, and had the option of choosing an overseas player as they had not named a replacement for New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner, who is also out with an injury.
Willey became the 12th English player to be a part of IPL 2018 after fellow Yorkshireman Liam Plunkett was picked up by Delhi Daredevils as a replacement for Kagiso Rabada and Tom Curran came in as Mitchell Starc’s replacement at Kolkata Knight Riders.
The ECB have sent in the requisite paperwork to Yorkshire and Willey left a pre-season friendly match in Leicester on Monday, April 9 to finalise terms with Chennai.
Willey’s call-up, however, has left Yorkshire in a quandary with the County Championship starting on April 13.
Yorkshire’s director of cricket, Martyn Moxon, is of the opinion that a cut-off date should be put in place beyond which England players should not be allowed to sign IPL deals.
“At the moment, we are potentially looking at a situation where if we deny a player an opportunity, we will be left with someone who is not completely focused on playing for Yorkshire. This would be counter-productive,” Moxon said.
“There are now 12 English players in this year’s IPL, so the issue goes further than just here at Emerald Headingley. I will be chairing a meeting with other directors of cricket at Edgbaston to discuss the future of the game. With the number of domestic T20 contracts available worldwide, it is important that we future-proof the County Championship.
“I will be calling for the introduction of a cut-off date, after which players will not be allowed to go to the IPL. Hopefully this can gain national approval and be supported by the ECB.”
Willey, 28, has played 147 Twenty20 games – including 20 internationals – and has 143 wickets to his name in the format at an average of 21.83 and an economy rate of 7.82. He has also scored 2097 runs at an average of 23.30 and a strike rate of 142.55.