Faulkner fires up as Hurricanes exit gets ugly
Tasmanian allrounder James Faulkner launches extraordinary attack on home town club and coach as acrimonious fall out from failed contract negotiations boils over
3 September 2021, 11:59 AM AEST
James Faulkner has lifted the lid on his falling out with the Hobart Hurricanes, claiming he "didn't feel respected as a player or a person" by his dealings with the club and is "shattered" he will not play out his career in his home state.
Faulkner said Hobart's "pretty embarrassing" and "disrespectful" initial offer to return to the team for BBL|11 had left him deeply wounded.
The Tasmanian native said he did not want to play for any other club, having spent the past three seasons with the Hurricanes, and will instead now play overseas rather than represent another Big Bash franchise.
"I wanted to be a part of the Hurricanes and represent Tasmania like I have for my whole career … I'm just shattered how it's all played out," Faulkner told SEN Hobart today.
"I found that (first offer) pretty hard to take when I first heard it on the phone. I found it pretty disrespectful for what I've given to Tasmanian cricket.
"I've put my heart and soul into it and to hear that initial offer, it cut pretty deep.
"It's all okay for (the Hurricanes) to say they want me but when they offered what they did ... it was very clear they didn't want me."
The 31-year-old was left fuming after Hurricanes head coach Adam Griffith said "I don't really care" in response to a question about Faulkner's future when addressing the relationship breakdown to local journalists last week.
"I thought (he) was one of my mates as well as the head coach," Faulkner said.
"(He said) the bowling group and the team have performed really well without me ... we need to move on and that he didn't really care.
"That's like sticking a knife straight into my back. That's not called for."
Faulkner, whose father Peter also played for Tasmania and served as the state's chairman of selectors, won three successive Ricky Ponting Medals as the state's best player between 2011 and 2013, culminating with a player of the match effort in Tasmania's Sheffield Shield triumph in 2012-13.
After seven seasons with the Melbourne Stars Faulkner made a homecoming to Hobart in 2018-19 with a three-year deal.
But he played just 12 of 29 games for the Hurricanes in the past two seasons as he battled injuries that limited his impact.
Last summer, the 31-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in late December that was expected to sideline him for eight weeks. Faulkner attempted to return after less than four weeks to help Hobart's stalled finals push but re-aggravated the injury at training.
Hobart missed the finals after losing their final game of the season against bottom-placed Melbourne Renegades.
"They just used injury the whole time against me, and they're still using it against me, which is quite disappointing," Faulkner said.
"I put my body on the line to come back so that we had a shot at making finals, which I'm happy to do and I'll always do that, but for the coach to use that against me I feel was wrong."
The Hurricanes twice upped their offer to Faulkner, which the player said he rejected having been hurt by the initial deal put forward.
Faulkner also rejected Griffith's claims that a multi-year deal was part of the negotiations.
The BBL's protracted contracting embargo this winter, as officials tried in vain to launch an international player draft, also didn't help matters, with Faulkner left in limbo for several months.
"I've had teams make contact but … because the contract negotiation went on for so long … I was left stranded six months down the line," Faulkner said.
"They just left me in the background really after promising me that they were gonna sort it out. They actually called me in before I went to the Pakistan Super League to apologise (for negotiations taking so long). And it still never got sorted out.
"I know what I'm worth, I have signed enough contracts for different teams around the world. I didn't want more, I just wanted what was fair and what I was worth, even maybe a little bit less.
“But it just comes back to that first offer. I didn't feel respected as a player or as a person or a Tasmanian athlete."
Faulkner, who starred in the PSL's second phase in the UAE this winter, will look to return to the tournament next January.
"There's no other way for me to continue to be playing. I'll be playing in the Pakistan Super League again, and I'm playing in the T10s in Abu Dhabi, and then hopefully Sri Lanka as well and whatever else pops up," Faulkner said.
"I didn't want to do it, I feel like I'm forced into doing it.
"I wanted to play Big Bash and then any other leagues around that.
"That was my number one priority and that's why I've done what I've done when it comes to my body, trying to come back early and trying to maximise as much output as I can for the team and for my teammates."
The Hobart Hurricanes declined the opportunity to respond.
Hobart Hurricanes BBL|11 squad (so far): Scott Boland, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Peter Handscomb, Caleb Jewell, Josh Kann, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Joel Paris, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Mac Wright.