Yorkshire stand by Hoggard decision

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The Independent Online

Yorkshire have defended their decision to release Matthew Hoggard and pointed out the former England seamer turned down a new contract earlier in the year.

The county also claim to be "extremely disappointed" that the 32-year-old chose to break the news himself in an interview with a national newspaper.



Hoggard said he felt he had "effectively been sacked" after learning last week that his contract at Headingley Carnegie would not be renewed.



A statement from Yorkshire read: "The club is extremely disappointed that Matthew broke the news to this morning's edition of The Times newspaper.



"The club has every respect for Matthew Hoggard as a player and as a person and had been working over the weekend with Matthew's representatives at the Professional Cricketers' Association to ensure the news broke at a mutually agreeable time, thereby assisting his transition to a new county in the most positive manner possible.



"An extremely competitive two-year contract, with the option of a third year based on performance, was offered to Matthew Hoggard at the beginning of the season; a deal that would have retained his position as one of the highest earners at the county. Matthew turned that contract offer down as he wanted a higher salary and a longer contract.



"The club and player agreed that they would review the situation after the season had ended.



"Over the course of the summer the club has reviewed its playing staff for 2010 and made plans to secure a number of key players.



"This has become increasingly costly due to the tightening of work permit regulations for overseas players and the demand for young England qualified talent."



Hoggard has played for Yorkshire for the past 15 seasons and was their top wicket-taker in the LV County Championship this summer.



He took a hat-trick in the penultimate match of the season as Yorkshire secured a vital win over Sussex in their successful battle against relegation.



Hoggard 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."



He continued: "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 insist the issue of captaincy was raised only at Hoggard's request and he had not been offered the position.



The county have decided to concentrate on securing young talent for the future and last week announced that Ajmal Shahzad, Gerard Brophy, Gary Ballance, Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Ben Sanderson had signed new deals.



Hoggard, who took 248 wickets in 67 Tests for England, will now look for a new county and is convinced he still has at least four years remaining at the top level.



In a separate interview with Sky Sports News, he said: "I've still got the desire. Now this is just a leapboard to say you've got a new challenge ahead of you, you have got to prove yourself to a new set of team-mates.



"It's fresh it's challenging and hopefully it's going to get the best out of me. I have to look at this as a positive move.



"I do believe I can do a job. I've got to make sure I've got a niche somewhere at a county club."

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