YORKSHIRE and England pace bowler Liam Plunkett is today expected to sign for Surrey on a three-year deal.
The Yorkshire Post understands that Plunkett will leave Emerald Headingley in the close-season to join this summer’s county champions-elect.
Plunkett’s relationship with Yorkshire has deteriorated lately, with the player revealing last month that he was looking to speak to other counties.
The 33-year-old, who is in the final year of his Yorkshire deal, said that the club “didn’t really offer me anything” by way of a new contract and was unhappy at being dropped during the Royal London Cup after figures of 1-76 from eight overs in a match against Lancashire at Old Trafford
“I was disappointed to be dropped after one bad performance,” said Plunkett at the time. “If they want to drop me on that…
“They said I wasn’t ready, that I looked undercooked. This is the last year of my contract. I’ve got the right to speak to other counties, and I’m looking to do that.”
Yorkshire had been in no particular mood to keep Plunkett, who left the club on the eve of the season to join Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
Plunkett felt that he could not turn down a life-changing amount of money – believed to be in the region of £200,000 for a few weeks’ work – and was joined at the IPL by Yorkshire and England team-mate David Willey, who is understood to have earned a similar amount with Chennai Super Kings.
Yorkshire feel that Plunkett, who was part of their County Championship-winning sides of 2014 and 2015, has played an important part in their recent success but no longer fits their desired criteria as they budget for the future.
The Middlesbrough-born player is regularly wanted by England, for whom he has performed strongly in white-ball cricket in recent times, and he has also suffered his share of injuries, although he is now back with the club after England’s white-ball season and available for the rest of the summer.
They said I wasn’t ready, that I looked undercooked. This is the last year of my contract. I’ve got the right to speak to other counties, and I’m looking to do that.Liam Plunkett, recently
Plunkett has yet to play for Yorkshire in this year’s Championship and made only two appearances in last year’s tournament.
Since joining Yorkshire from Durham in 2012, he has made 34 Championship appearances for the White Rose, taking 90 wickets and scoring 1,240 runs.
He has also contributed 33 wickets and 327 runs in 28 List A games for the county and 40 wickets and 335 runs in 38 T20 fixtures.
Adil Rashid, the Yorkshire leg-spinner, is another who could be on his way at the end of the season.
Rashid has yet to sign a white-ball contract for 2019 offered by the club, who are actively looking to strengthen their squad.
Rashid, 30, has been tipped for a possible recall to England’s Test squad, which is set to be announced today ahead of the first Test of the five-match series against India at Edgbaston on August 1.
But he gave up red-ball cricket earlier this year and may be behind Moeen Ali and Jack Leach in England’s thinking.