Aakash Chopra & David Willey
Aakash Chopra & David Willey (Credits: Instagram)

One of the most bluntly opinionated voices of Indian cricket, Aakash Chopra has claimed that retired England left-arm pacer David Willey will find it difficult or might not even be able to break into the playing XI of the Lucknow Super Giants franchise when the Indian Premier League begins from March 2024.

David Willey played his final international match for England during the ICC Cricket World Cup in India last year against Pakistan. He had announced his retirement from all formats before England’s last CWC match at the Eden Gardens as the then reigning champions finished 7th in the league table and avoided further embarrassment by at least confirming their qualification for the Champions Trophy next year in Pakistan.

His decision had come after the English Cricket Board (ECB) denied offering him a central contract which he referred to as the final nail in the coffin for his international career. He was the only player from that World Cup squad who was not offered a central contract for the 2023-2024 cycle.

Willey had taken to Instagram and expressed that he never wanted this day to come and stated, “From a young boy, I’ve only ever dreamed of playing cricket for England. So, with careful thought and consideration, it is with great regret that I feel the time has come for me to retire from all forms of international cricket at the end of the World Cup.” 

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The Northampton-born bowling all-rounder is now focusing on receiving chances to play for franchise teams around the world. He is currently taking part in the International League T20 (ILT20) with the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and he also took a single wicket in their opening match win against Desert Vipers by 6 wickets.

“I Don’t Know How Much Value He Will Add”, Aakash Chopra’s Blunt Take On David Willey

David Willey’s next assignment in franchise leagues will come in the form of IPL 2024 where he was picked by the Lucknow Super Giants in the auctions held last month for his base price of 2 crores. There is much talk going around if he will cause an effect or not and Aakash Chopra has raised his concerns over his role and how he will suit LSG.

Aakash Chopra opined that Willey was mainly brought in because of his performance in Lucknow during England’s CWC matches and believes he could be a replacement for Daniel Sams.

“David Willey has come in place of Daniel Sams. I have got no idea how much value he would add. They probably saw that he dismissed three Indian players early there (in Lucknow) in the World Cup. So maybe David Willey is that kind of a player and he will be available for the entire season. However, he doesn’t have chances to play.” – Aakash Chopra said. 

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David Willey was first introduced in the IPL in 2018 when he was a part of the Chennai Super Kings team that won the tournament. He was a part of the RCB franchise for the last 2 seasons where he played 8 games across 2022 and 2023 and picked 4 wickets. The 33-year-old has never received enough game time in the IPL and seems as if it will be the case in 2024 as well.