Axed Hoggard rejected new deal, insist Yorkshire chiefs

YORKSHIRE Cricket Club yesterday hit back in their row with bowler Matthew Hoggard, insisting the former England pace man had turned down a lucrative new contract at the start of the season.<br /><br />Hoggard, 33, publicly expressed his &ldquo;anger and disappointment&rdquo; after being released by the county after 15 years for financial reasons.<br /><br />But the division one side are furious the news was broken through the media and are now saying Hoggard had rejected a new two-year deal at the beginning of the season with the player insisting he wanted a higher salary and a longer contract.<br /><br />A club statement read: &ldquo;An extremely competitive two-year contract, with the option of a third year based on performance, was offered to Matthew at the beginning of the season; a deal that would have retained his position as one of the highest earners at the county. Matthew turned that contract offer down as he wanted a higher salary and a longer contract.<br /><br />&ldquo;The decision not to award Hoggard a contract had been made in light of a number of factors &ndash; the current economic climate, the player&rsquo;s contractual requirements and a detailed analysis of the make-up of the professional squad for the 2010 season.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hoggard has only ever played for Yorkshire and since making his county debut in 1996, he has taken 668 wickets in 195 first-class matches.<br /><br />His availability is likely to alert a number of rival counties with Hoggard also topping Yorkshire&rsquo;s wicket-taking charts again this summer with 46 first-class scalps at an average of 32. <br /><br />Adding to his comments, Hoggard said: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m disappointed, gutted, angry &ndash; a mixture of thoughts and emotions.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hoggard is not the only ex-England man possibly on the look-out for a new county with Monty Panesar also being linked with a move from Northants.<br /><br />Panesar has already lost his central contract and the county may choose to offload the 39-Test spinner for cost reasons. <br />