Tony Palladino has launched a legal action against Derbyshire CCC, alleging wrongful dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of mental health.

Palladino, who became something of a club legend as he carried the Derbyshire attack for season upon season with his probing swing bowling, was released by the club at the end of the 2020 season in which he didn't play a game.

While Palladino, who made his first-class debut in 2003, enjoyed a long career in the game and was 37 years old by the time he was released, it is understood he was very keen to extend his contract into this season.

The case is believed to hinge on whether a long-standing mental health issue which contributed to his unavailability in 2020 was held against him when it came to making a new contract offer, and whether he was led to believe he would be offered another year's contract.

In his final two seasons, 2018 and 2019, Palladino claimed 78 first-class wickets for the club at an average of 21.69, making him the club's top wicket-taker over the period. He also operated as the club's bowling coach for a couple of years until the start of 2019. In all, he claimed 347 first-class wickets for Derbyshire at an average of 26.68, having moved to the club from Essex ahead of the 2011 season.

Before that, he played a significant role in cricket history as the whistle-blower in the spot-fixing case that eventually exposed Danish Kaneria and saw Mervyn Westfield sent to jail.

He now coaches at South Wingfield, in division two of the Derbyshire Cricket League.

Both Palladino and Derbyshire declined to comment when approached by ESPNcricinfo. A spokesperson for the PCA (the Professional Cricketers' Association; the players' union) confirmed, however, that the organisation "had been aware of the issue from the early stages" and had "supported Palladino with legal advice".

An initial hearing is scheduled to take place in Nottingham on August 6, with a full hearing set for June 2022.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo