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Willey becomes No. 1 transfer target

David Willey effected a brilliant run-out of Kane Willamson Getty Images

David Willey, Northamptonshire's England allrounder, is likely to be one of the most sought-after close season signings after the county agreed in principle to him leaving with a year of his contract still to run. There will be a price, though, for his suitors, with The Guardian reporting that the club want £50,000 compensation for his early departure.

Northants have honoured a verbal agreement with Willey, 25, that he could move this winter, provided the move clearly represented an advancement for his career and that they were suitably compensated.

ESPNcricinfo reported last month that Willey was likely to be on the move after England's exciting new look in one-day cricket had caught the eye.

Willey made his ODI debut in May during a 3-2 series win over New Zealand and also played in the subsequent Twenty20 victory. He has taken 11 wickets in five appearances over 50 overs. But he is regarded as a long way from Test selection and he has concluded that only First Division championship cricket will further his career.

Warwickshire are in the running, and want him to open the batting in limited-overs cricket, and Yorkshire, who have serious limited-overs issues to address but who have stiff competition for Championship places, Middlesex and Durham have also been touted. The list is not likely to end there.

Willey first came to prominence when he won the man-of-the-match award in the 2013 Twenty20 final, combining 60 from 27 balls with a hat-trick as Northants saw off Surrey, but he wants to win opportunities in all forms of the game.

Ben Duckett has been another player on Northants' mind. He was banned from driving for 12 months by Northampton Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to a charge of drink-driving.

Northants Cricket said it was very disappointed in the player, who had made "a huge mistake and he will now have to deal with the consequences".

The club statement added: "This is a judicial matter and we completely respect the decision and authority of the court and, therefore, we will not be applying further punishment ourselves. We expect the highest level of behaviour from our players and impress on them regularly the social responsibility that they carry."

Duckett was said to be "extremely remorseful" and would be starting a programme of education. He said: "I made a stupid decision that night and I deeply regret my actions and wish to apologise to my family and to the club for letting, not just myself, but, them down too. I am extremely grateful that my actions didn't lead to anyone getting hurt."

Duckett is the second professional cricketer in England to flout drink-drive regulations this summer. James Faulkner will not be considered for Australia's one-day squad in England after being charged with drink-driving. He is due to appear in court in Manchester on July 21.