England seamer David Willey said Wednesday he will retire from international cricket following the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup after missing out on a national central contract.
The 33-year-old left-armer, also a hard-hitting lower-order batsman, was the only member of reigning champions England’s struggling 15-man squad in India not to be given a deal of any kind.
That decision left Willey in the strange position of trying to turn round England’s woeful title defence while knowing his bosses were not prepared to secure his future as an international cricketer.
“I never wanted this day to come,” said Willey in a post on Instagram announcing his retirement.
England have won just one of their six matches played and are currently bottom of the 10-team table in India.
Willey took 3/45, including dismissing star batsman Virat Kohli for nought, in Lucknow last weekend although his haul could not prevent England suffering a 100-run defeat by the unbeaten hosts.
“From a young boy, I’ve only ever dreamed of playing cricket for England,” added Willey.
“So, with careful thought and consideration, it is with great regret that I feel the time has come for me to retire from all forms of international cricket at the end of the World Cup.
“I have worn the shirt with immense pride and given my absolute everything to the badge on my chest.”
Willey made the announcement even though Jos Buttler’s men still have three group games to play, starting with a clash against arch-rivals Australia in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Willey has played 70 one-day internationals and 43 Twenty20s for England.
He missed out on their 2019 World Cup triumph after he was dropped from the squad shortly before the tournament, with fast bowler Jofra Archer taking his place.
But Willey was a member of England’s T20 World Cup-winning squad in Australia last year.
He insisted his decision to retire from international cricket had “nothing to do” with England’s performances, during the World Cup.
“I’m sure everybody who knows me does not doubt that, whatever my involvement in the remainder of this campaign, I will give my everything and more! That’s the only way I know,” he wrote.