His career is a study in how NOT to treat a cricketer or any professional athlete for that matter.
Ignorance, But Not Bliss
The retirement call might have been hastened by ECB’s careless choice of announcing new central contracts amidst a tumbling World Cup campaign.
These contracts are said to be worth between £130,000–£800,000. These are multi-year contracts with additional scope of £70,000 for any County commitments. Why did the ECB need to take such drastic actions?
Well, cricket is changing and 2023 has been a watershed moment with SAT20, ILT20, and MLC offering more income and additional options to IPL, BBL, CPL, and PSL. With IPL franchises owning teams around the world, there were murmurs about franchises offering year-long contracts to players, thereby threatening the last remaining bits of international cricket.
The English administration had to act fast. And act they did.
27 England players were offered a central contract. Every member in the World Cup squad except for one was offered a central contact.
And that one was David Willey.
England’s 2023 World Cup Debacle
The decision would have made sense had Willey been out of favor for a few months or had a dip in form or was out of his prime, but let’s look at the facts.
In England’s derailing World Cup, who has the best batting average? You guessed it right, David Willey — 42.00 (yes he bats in the bottom and may have not-outs to boost him up but so what…let’s not go in the details here)
Willey is also England’s third highest wicket-taker despite only playing 3 matches so far — 5 (the only more unfortunate player than Willey is at the top of England’s bowling charts — Reece Topley, who has gone back home with yet another freak injury).
2nd best bowling average — yep Willey again (behind Topley)
3rd most sixes…behind Malan and Mark Wood (which tells you everything you need to know about England’s listless World Cup)
But I know what you must be thinking — these are stats after the contracts were announced, but what about the statistics leading up to the World Cup?
Between the 2019–2023 World Cups, David Willey was England’s second highest wicket taker and the highest wicket taker for a pacer (37 wickets in 21 ODIs compared to 41 in 27 for Adil Rashid).
37 wickets, 22.35 Average, 5.2 Economy, best of 5/30, 4/5 fers: 1/2
Those are stellar figures. In the absence of Jofra Archer & Mark Wood, Willey often led the attack alongside Topley & Saqib Mahmood.
Imagine taking 52 wickets in 45 wickets and being a consistent member of the side for FOUR years before being dropped on the eve of the World Cup (after being initially selected)…for someone who had taken 3 wickets.
Well that happened to Willey. Now of course, it’s another story that the person he was dropped for was none other than Jofra Archer, waiting for his residency period to complete after immigrating from Barbados. Archer would end up playing an instrumental part in the World Cup victory a month later and bowled THAT Super Over.
Anyway, back to Willey.
What’s more depressing is that deep down, Willey predicted that he would be the one to be cut. He said a few days earlier to Archer’s inclusion,
“It’s an interesting dilemma for the captain, coach, and selectors. It’s a group of players that have been together for three or four years now that have got us to No. 1….Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they are available, whether that’s the right thing. I don’t know.”
I am sure Willey would have been crushed.
What did Ed Smith, England’s selector back then, have to say?
“He deserves to be in the World Cup squad. But that’s sport.”
Broken Cricket Dreams.
The Hope of 2022
When there is disappointment, there is always a glimmer of hope.
Willey did enjoy some good memories over the years.
In domestic cricket, he gained a reputation of batting in the top order and hitting some gigantic sixes. He was England’s leading wicket taker in the 2016 T20 Final and had a stunning all-round performance of 21*(14) of 4–0–20–3 in the Final (could have been a player of the Final…but unfortunately, Marlon Samuels & Carlos Brathwaite had other plans).
Then the 2019 World Cup happened.
He made another comeback and was selected in the 2021 & 2022 T20 World Cup squads but would not end up playing a single game (at least he finally lifted the T20 World Cup Trophy with the team).
Forever on the Sidelines
First there was Archer. Then another player picked out of thin air, Tymal Mills.
With Topley & Sam Curran around, there was always competition in the left arm pace department. In the all-rounders category, England were blessed with Stokes, Woakes, and Moeen Ali.
Willey had to prove to the selectors every time he took the field in an England jersey because his spot was never confirmed. He was always in the scheme of things but only on the edge. As a substitute, an injury replacement.
But once another shining player was found or conditions did not favor swing, Willey was the first to be dropped.
In this case, he was the only one not among 27.
England lost out on Willey, not the other way around. David Willey — Forever on the sidelines.
Resilience and Determination – David Willey in his Own Words
And here is David Willey’s retirement statement in his own word.
“Winning World Cup with my family around…that medal there…I didn’t play in that World Cup…But that victory signified so much for me…Coming back into the side and being there…that was very special.”
Here is everything you need to know from 2023 Cricket World Cup England squad announcement.
The 2023 Cricket World Cup is the 13th edition of the prestigious tournament and will kick off in June of that year. England are one of the favorites to lift the trophy, with a strong squad filled with world-class talent. We take a look at who might make up their starting XI by looking at some of the leading candidates for each position.
Let’s dive right in.
Key Takeaways from England’s ODI Squad Announcement
The average age of England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad is 33.1. Only Harry Brook (24), Gus Atkinson (25), Sam Curran (25), and Reece Topley (29) are under the age of 30.
The 15-member England’s World Cup squad has average ODI match experience of 76 ODIs (1133 ODIs among 15 players).
England’s squad composition is as follows: 6 proper batters (with two part-time bowling options), 5 all-rounders, and 4 proper bowling options. In total, England have 11 bowling options (2 leg spin, 2 off spin, 3 left arm pace, and 4 right arm pace) in their squad if absolutely needed.
England have 4 left-handed batting options (Stokes, Malan, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali) and two wicketkeeping options.
England will continue to prolong their T20 & ODI legacy. They have picked 9 players from their 2019 ODI World Cup winning squad and 10 players from their 2022 T20 World Cup squad.
Frequently Asked Questions – 2023 Cricket World Cup England Squad
Why did Ben Stokes unretire from ODI cricket?
Ben Stokes unretired from ODI cricket and came back to play in the 2023 ODI Cricket World Cup.
What is the average age of England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad?
England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad average age is 31.8 years.
Who is Gus Atkinson?
Gus Atkinson is a 25-year-old fast bowler from Chelsea, England that is bowling these days at 95 mph. He has played 2 List A games, 14 first class matches, and 41 T20Is. He plays for the Oval Invincibles in the Hundred and Surrey in County Cricket.
Who is selected for England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad?
Harry Brook, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (C), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Daivd Willey, Gus Atkinson, and Reece Topley is selected for England’s 2023 Cricket World Cup squad.
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 4/07/2022
Today was such a pleasant day for cricket—The County Championship 2022 began, going back to the two-division structure from the ‘pre-pandemic’ era.
8 concurrent matches (I watched the Essex Vs Kent game), friendly exchanges on social media, centuries for Nick Browne & Sir Alastair Cook (yep still going strong!), Somerset bundled for 180 by Hampshire, and lots of young talent on show!
And when there is a new tournament, there is #BCDPredictions. The County Championship is long! It ends at the end of September. So, here are the predictions of our friends from Twitter and Facebook here so we can compare at the end of the journey, who got most Predictions right!
Due to my personal affinity for Alastair Cook, I went with Essex for Division I, but will be following several domestic and international stars.
Specifically would love to see openers Rory Burns & Dom Sibley return to top form after an indifferent last year in Test cricket. Sam Curran is returning from injury, stalwarts Jimmy Anderson, Hashim Amla, & Darren Stevens are still around, while South Africans Simon Harmer, George Linde, and Kyle Abbott can wreck mayhem on their day.
For the overseas stars, I am looking forward to out-of-favor Cheteshwar Pujara and Pakistani internationals in Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Mohammad Rizwan. Tom Haines & Josh de Caires are some popular youngsters to watch.