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James Faulkner hits out at 'disrespectful' treatment over Hobart Hurricanes exit

"I've put my heart and soul into it and to hear their initial cut pretty deep"

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
James Faulkner injured his hamstring while bowling against Brisbane Heat

James Faulkner injured his hamstring while bowling against Brisbane Heat  •  Getty Images

Former Australia allrounder James Faulkner feels disrespected and shattered following a contract saga that has led to his departure from Hobart Hurricanes.
Faulkner, 31, will not play for Hurricanes this year, and appears very unlikely to play in the BBL altogether, after turning down a one-year contract offer that he claims was "pretty embarrassing".
Faulkner made the comments on SEN Hobart, in an interview with close friend and Australia Test captain Tim Paine who was co-hosting the show.
"I found it pretty hard to take when I first heard it on the phone," Faulkner said. "I found it pretty disrespectful for what I've sort of given to Tasmanian cricket. I've put my heart and soul into it and to hear their initial offer, and that is what it all comes down to, it cut pretty deep.
"I know what I'm worth. I've signed enough contracts around the world for different teams. I didn't want more. I just wanted what was fair and what I thought I was worth and even maybe a little bit less. But it just comes back to that first offer. I didn't feel respected as a player or a person or a Tasmanian athlete. I'm just shattered how it has all played out."
Faulkner, who last played international cricket for Australia in 2017, joined Hurricanes in his home state of Tasmania ahead of the 2018-19 BBL season after seven years at Melbourne Stars on a three-year deal that finished at the end of last season.
He has been plagued by a series of injuries since his international career ended and played just 12 of 29 matches in the last two BBL seasons. Last season he suffered a serious hamstring injury which ended his tournament in December. Faulkner said it was unfair for his injuries to be used against him in the negotiations.
"They just used injury the whole time against me, really," he said. "Last season I had an eight-week hamstring I did at the Gabba and tried to come back in three-and-a-half weeks and put my body on the line to come back so we had a shot at making finals and we weren't really in the mix at that stage, which I'm happy to do and I'll always do that. But for the coach to use that against me, I felt was wrong."
He also took aim at head coach Adam Griffith following comments he made at a press conference last week.
"When you watch the news, and you see who I thought was one of my mates, as well as the head coach, say the bowling group and the team have performed well without me, first of all, and then secondly saying, we need to move on and that he didn't really care - that cuts deep," Faulkner said. "That's like sticking a knife straight in my back. That's not called for.
Faulkner also claimed the lengthy BBL embargo period on contract signings had left him in limbo.
"I've had teams make contact but the issue we have is the fact there was an embargo period with Cricket Australia and obviously you can't speak throughout that," Faulkner said.
"And obviously because the contract negotiation went on for so long teams obviously want to sign their list. So I was sort of left stranded six months down the line. Other lists were full and that's the big thing that hurts.
"I wouldn't have wanted to play for any other franchise anyway. The whole reason I came to the Hurricanes was to finish here and play in front of my family and friends and play with some of my best teammates that I have great memories with and for that not to happen it's bloody disappointing."
However, teams, players, and agents are allowed to talk informally during the embargo period and often do. The embargo only applies to binding agreements meaning no contracts can be formally signed.
Faulkner will now ply his trade in various leagues around the world. He performed well in this year's PSL for Lahore Qalandars taking 13 wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 6.50. He will also look to play in the Abu Dhabi T10 and the Lanka Premier League.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo