Yorkshire v Hampshire – David Willey glad to be back in the thick of it

DAVID WILLEY is grateful for the chance to get back in the saddle by playing for Yorkshire as he strives to put behind him his World Cup disappointment.

DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: David Willey and Jofra Archer. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: David Willey and Jofra Archer. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Willey goes straight into the side for Monday’s County Championship game against Hampshire at Emerald Headingley having been left out of England’s World Cup party.

Willey’s World Cup KO was a huge blow to the 29-year-old, who missed out after England fast-tracked Barbados-born pace bowler Jofra Archer by changing their residency rules from seven years to three.

But rather than mope around feeling sorry for himself, Willey is simply thankful for the opportunity to help third-placed Yorkshire as they seek to back-up a strong start in the Championship which has brought two wins and a draw from their first three games.

“It’s the best thing for me to do, to be playing,” said Willey.

“The last thing I want to be doing now is sitting on the sidelines watching cricket on TV, so to get back out there, change my focus and keep focus for myself is great for me personally.

“Yorkshire are in a decent position in the County Championship table, so hopefully I can contribute to winning games of cricket.

“Being out there in the middle, in the battle as such, is the best place for me to be right now.”

Willey says that he must now go away and become a better player, forcing England to look at him again.

“I respect the reasons they (England) gave to me and just have to crack on,” he added.

“I wish the boys well and hope they go all the way.

“I’m back at Yorkshire now and my focus turns to my task ahead here and ultimately I’ve got to make myself a better cricketer and put myself in a position where they (England) can’t leave me out in the future.

“Hopefully I can now be part of a successful summer for Yorkshire not only in the red-ball but also the T20.”

Willey’s return is timely for Yorkshire, with fellow all-rounder Tim Bresnan out for up to six weeks with a calf tear and Matthew Waite sidelined with an ankle problem.

Yorkshire have already beaten Hampshire in this year’s competition, inflicting on them their only defeat so far with an innings triumph at the Ageas Bowl.

Yorkshire (from): Ballance, Barnes, Bess, Brook, Coad, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Lyth, Olivier, Patterson (captain), Pillans, Poysden, Tattersall, Willey.