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Chairman: 'Cricket is a team game and Yorkshire is bigger than anybody'
Yorkshire chairman Colin Graves has accused Ajmal Shahzad of not being a team player in the wake of the fast bowler’s shock departure from Headingley earlier this week.
Graves revealed issues have surrounded the 26-year-old England fringe bowler for the last season and a bit, which came to a head during last week’s LV= County Championship match against Kent at Canterbury.
The chairman called a meeting with Shahzad, his agent Neil Fairbrother and director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon on Tuesday, which concluded after 40 minutes by him deciding the best course of action would be for the player to find a new county.
“Martyn reported to me on Tuesday morning when they returned from Kent and told me issues had arisen again during the Kent game which the coaches were unhappy with,” explained Graves.
“He’d (Shahzad) made a comment to someone internally regarding his future at Yorkshire.
“When I heard that, I thought the best thing to do was to bring it to a head. I am not going to sit here, three matches into the season and let it affect our season. Cricket is a team game, and Yorkshire is bigger than everybody.
“We sat down and everybody had their say. To be honest, I listened to everybody, I sat quiet for 40 minutes and I just turned round and said there’s no way forward.
“Everybody in the club’s wrong, and he’s got his own ideas. It’s a team game, it’s about the players out there. Ajmal couldn’t see that.
“I am not prepared to have someone playing for Yorkshire who doesn’t want to be part of the team. All the comments I’ve heard from Ajmal is always about him. It’s not about the team. To me, cricket’s a team game.
“We wanted Ajmal to be at the club for the rest of his playing career, but that’s not going to happen.
“I feel disappointed for Martyn, I feel disappointed for Andrew Gale because they have tried strenuously over the last 12 months to work with the guy. I also feel sorry for Ajmal Shahzad because, for some reason, he hasn't taken that opportunity.
“I hope it works out for him. I hope it works out from England’s point of view as well. The guy has got potential, but I’ve said it to Martyn, how many matches has he won for Yorkshire? Look through the records.”
Graves even said that Yorkshire would pay a portion of Shahzad’s wages if a county who wanted him on loan could not afford the full salary.
Moxon added: “I want to dismiss straight away there’s any disciplinary situation. I want to dismiss any thoughts that there’s a crisis at the club, disharmony at the club or disharmony within the team. That’s an absolute definite no-no.
“This is all about Ajmal’s cricket and where he feels he and the club feel it is best for him to pursue his career.
“It’s quite clear there is a problem, but it’s purely cricketing. He’s a very strong personality and has very strong views on how he sees himself as a cricketer.”
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