The contract does not mean nothing financially as he is paid by England, but at least he is committed to Yorkshire, although I did not expect him to be going anywhere else!
He is going to be an England player for probably the next 10 years or so and as long as Yorkshire don’t have to pay for him, I think they will be quite happy to have him.
You also look at what he brings in from a marketing and personality point of view and it will keep Yorkshire kids interested in the game. So it is terrific that Yorkshire have tied him down, although I never thought it would be an issue.
Hopefully, it will be a massive and great summer for him, England and Yorkshire.
Joe is a big draw and it is great when the big Test players play for their home county.
I think now that people accept the England commitments and that it comes first. When I played many years ago, I don’t think some people understood and accepted it. They did not accept that the ECB were paying your wages.
If Joe is available for two or three games for Yorkshire next season, it is a huge boost for Yorkshire and the fans – a huge boost for Joe too. I know he loves playing for Yorkshire.
Don’t forget, it is something he first wanted to do when he was a young kid and it still really means something to him.
Don’t underestimate what it means for him to play for Yorkshire – and obviously England. It was exactly the same for me.
These days, however, people do seem to understand the situation better.
The top players are England players and basically get loaned out to the counties they are committed to.
For me, the hard thing for Yorkshire and Lancashire is that they seem to miss so many players through the England Under-19 and ‘A’ teams and other age-group teams.
It must be difficult for them and I do understand the frustration for counties in that respect. But everyone’s ambition is to play for their country and what every player’s ambition should be.
Regarding the Tyson Fury fight, you have got to say fair play to him.
Us British love a good underdog story and I do think he has been our most underrated boxer for some time.
Granted, he splits opinion and I think he has had more people against him than for him – obviously after some of the things he has said in past interviews over the years and certain tweets he has put out.
But to have come back from where he was at, with some of the problems he has had over mental illness and pulling out of fights and having to give away his belts, is tremendous.
Don’t forget that before all this, he went to Germany and beat ‘the man’ in Wladimir Klitschko, such a special achievement way back in November 2015.
After only two fights back, Fury goes to America in his third fight and fights the guy who everyone had kind of been avoiding in Deontay Wilder in his own backyard.
And let’s be honest, after watching the fight, we all know he absolutely destroyed him from start to finish. Even though he got knocked down twice, he still won that fight by five rounds.
He put in a brilliant performance – almost Rocky-esque.
We have all seen the videos going around on social media and to turn his image around is some going.
I think the heavyweight division is now brilliant. You have got three guys in Wilder, Fury and Anthony Joshua, who are streets ahead of anybody else.
I would like to think that they will all fight each other in 2019.
It is an interesting 12 months for boxing and I do hope I am not writing another column in 12 months’ time where the big three have still not met.
I saw Barry Hearn came out and said there is no way Fury is getting 50-50. I have never understood that about boxers. Fury now is someone who has grown on people, certainly since his last fight with Wilder.
For a promoter to come out and say straightaway and say he won’t get 50-50 ... is that what the fight game is all about now? The percentages and who gets the money?
I thought it was about who was the best fighter in the world.
I think if you asked Joshua, he would want the big fight and so would Wilder. And if you ask Fury, he would fight anybody. I think he actually takes no notice of his promoter and just fights who he wants.
He doesn’t seem to be bothered who he fights.
People said he would get knocked out by Wilder and that he was too strong for him after he was out for so long.
Then to put on a performance like that and actually show-boat ... it was like watching Rocky.