Bangladesh Premier League 2012 February 17, 2012

Cobb refused BPL clearance by Leicestershire


Leicestershire have declined Josh Cobb's request to go and play in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Cobb, who took the Man-of-the-Match award in final of the Friends Life t20 in 2011, had been offered an opportunity to replace the injured Chris Gayle in the Barisal Burners squad. But Leicestershire have refused to issue a No Objection Certificate - the paperwork necessary to release Cobb to play - citing the player's fitness as the obstacle. Cobb underwent minor surgery to remove a cyst on his knee last month.

Leicestershire's decision resulted in 21-year-old Cobb, who recently signed a contract extension that will keep him with the club until the end of the 2013 season, unleashing a frustrated response on his Facebook page. "Not great for morale when your club won't let you go to the Bangladesh Premier League to replace Chris Gayle," he wrote. The post was subsequently deleted. Cobb's tweet on the issue was more mundane. "Absolutely gutted not to be able to go and play for the Barisal Burners in the BPL!! Looking a great tournament," he posted.

"I can understand him being a bit upset," Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall said. "In normal circumstances we would be quite happy for him to go. We don't want to stand in the way of a player if opportunity knocks.

"But Josh had knee surgery over the winter and the club have made the decision that he is not quite fit enough. I'm sure he feels - as any young man would - that there is not much wrong with him, but it's our responsibility to care for his long-term future in the game.

"This is an important year for Josh and Leicestershire. We were bottom of Division Two of the championship by miles last year and part of the reasons was that we didn't score enough runs. We want to make sure he is fully fit to play a big part for us this year."

Meanwhile Russell Cobb, the father of Josh and coach to the Leicestershire youth sides, is expected to be appointed the new director of cricket at Loughborough MCC University. He will be succeeding Graham Dilley, who died in October, in the role.

Cobb, 50, has been at Leicestershire for more than 30 years. After a career as a top-order batsman, he took on a coaching role and has helped in the development of such players as Stuart Broad, Luke Wright, James Taylor and Nathan Buck.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SMA on February 20, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Barishal Barners please offer Ricky Ponting to play in place of Chris Gayle. You need to do it fast.

  • Dummy4 on February 19, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Players like Brandan Taylor, Ryan Ten Doescht and other english and pakistani power Batsmen shud be looked for...

  • cric bd on February 18, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    barisal may bring somone 4m brendon taylor....masakadza.....matsikaneyri......they r good 4 bd condition.........

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    I dont know why Leicestershire did not allow him to play at BPL. This cant be a reason when a player himself want to play there. Thanks ESPNCRICINFO to bring all the issues to us. We will be grateful to them if they (ESPNCRICINFO) cover the match live with their experienced team who themselves can make the BPL even better.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Good lord, some of the comments... "Players are not servants" - Of course not, but they are EMPLOYED, which means they have agreed to perform certain tasks for the employer and the employer in turn renumerates the player for his services. As long as the employer fulfils his part of the mutual agreement, the player has certain obligations, usually specified in a contract, towards his employer. In this case, certainly an exciting opportunity for any young player, the player himself at 21 certainly not a child should have realised his medical position and contractual obligations towards Leicestershire and graciously declined the Barisal Burners' offer.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    we want live commentary of BPL in cricinfo.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    oho..feeling sorry about Cobb ! it would hv a great adventure for him

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    can we get Usman Khawaja from australia? He is a great batsman. but I'm not sure he's got his name down to BPL list!

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    "Absolutely gutted not to be able to go and play for the Barisal Burners in the BPL!! Looking a great tournament," Very true !!

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Leicestershire have a duty of care towards the player. If Josh went to the BPL and further injured himself or caused a reoccurance then it could shorten his career and cause him issues later in life. He's too young to be risking injury just to make a quick buck

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