GOLCAR cricketers were among the first people to learn of Matthew Hoggard’s release by Yorkshire County Cricket Club when the Ashes-winning hero presented the club’s individual awards at the prize-giving night at Golcar Lily.
Sykes Cup-winning skipper Ashley Pamment said: “We were talking after the presentations on Saturday, when Matthew said Yorkshire were not offering him a new contract, and he would be looking for a new job.
“I’m sure he won’t have any difficulty in finding another county, but I told him if he did, he was more than welcome to come and play with us at Golcar.”
Hoggard played for Yorkshire for 15 years after starting his career with Bradford League side Pudsey Congs and earlier this season released an autobiography. One of his career highpoints came in 2005 when he was a vital part of England’s Ashes-winning side, forming a brilliant quartet of seam bowlers along with Andrew Flintoff, Simon Jones and Steve Harmison.
Yorkshire’s leading wicket-taker in this season’s LV County Championship, Hoggard said he was “shocked and bitterly disappointed” after Yorkshire told him they would not offer him a new contract, and found the news hard to take after holding talks about the possibility of taking on the captaincy next season.
The former England pace bowler said: “I’m shocked and bitterly disappointed. I think I’ve been loyal to Yorkshire.
“I wanted to commit the rest of my career to the club and I would have relished the thought of captaincy, which I had discussed with (chairman) Colin Graves and(director of cricket) Martyn Moxon.
“Now I have effectively been sacked and I’m not even going to play for Yorkshire again, which makes me incredibly sad.
“What really upsets me is that I wasn’t given the chance in my final game to say goodbye to the Yorkshire supporters, who have been so good to me over the years.
“Other players who knew they weren’t going to be around next year were given a handshake and a send-off in front of the fans.
“All I got after 15 years at the club was a cup of coffee in the chief executive’s office!”
Yorkshire have cited financial reasons for their decision to release the 32-year-old.
The ECB are introducing age-related incentive payments for counties next season, which will not help the cause of experienced players bidding to stay in the game.
Several other counties are believed to have expressed an interest in Hoggard, whose last England Test appearance came in New Zealand.
He added: “I’m just going to have to look at other options now.”