Old Trafford no-go area for Aussie Faulkner

Faulkner - no Old Trafford return
Faulkner - no Old Trafford return
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Australian James Faulkner has pulled out of a move to join Lancashire Lightning for this year's T20 Blast campaign

Faulkner has been refused permission from Cricket Australia to link up with the Red Rose club.

Lancashire have received confirmation that Faulkner requires ongoing management of a troublesome knee injury and as a centrally contracted Australian player, such a deal requires Cricket Australia to provide a 'No Objection Certificate' which has not been forthcoming.

Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple said: “It’s disappointing that James won’t be re-joining us for this year’s NatWest T20 Blast but we understand the reasoning from Cricket Australia.

“We’d had some indications of Faulkner’s position and so we worked hard on bringing Junaid Khan as his replacement. We are also confident of securing another addition to the squad in the coming weeks for this year’s NatWest T20 Blast.”

Faulkner said: “It is regretful that I am unable to fulfil my playing contract with Lancashire in 2017. Over the last 18 months, I have had an extremely heavy playing schedule. I have also been managing an ongoing knee condition.

“With more cricket ahead and with an equally busy season in 2017/18 around the corner, the decision has been taken for me to rest up in July and August.

“This will undoubtedly be in my best interests, but I am sorry to be missing out on more playing time with Lancashire. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Manchester in 2015 and have very fond memories of our T20 victory.

Chapple is leading a 10 man squad to Desert Springs this week as preparations step up ahead of the new season.

Chapple is pleased with the progress of his UK-based players, ahead of the full squad re-uniting, before departure to Dubai and taking part in a further phase of pre-season, as taking part in the prestigious Emirates T20 Cup.

Following the additions to the squad of Ryan McLaren, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dane Vilas and Junaid Khan, Chapple believes Lancashire are in a good place ahead of the new season.Chapple said: “We are in a strong position ahead of the new campaign and everyone at the Ccub is excited and raring to go. Last year was a tough year, but we’ve all learned so much which will undoubtedly benefit us moving forward.

The Lancashire players who have been overseas this winter all return to Old Trafford before pre-season starts with fitness testing on March 6.

Chapple said: “We’ve now got a week in Spain before two full weeks with the whole squad together at Old Trafford. We then fly out to Dubai for our pre-season tour which will be great preparation ahead of the new season. The Emirates T20 competition features some quality opposition and we’ve also lined up two two-day fixtures against Yorkshire and the UAE national team so we should be hitting the ground running when we take on Essex in the opening game.”