Glamorgan have confirmed the termination of Charlie Hemphrey’s contract “by mutual consent” after he failed to overturn his classification as a non-qualified player by the ECB.
Hemphrey, a 31-year-old batter, was heading into the final year of his contract, but agreed to terminate it early after his plea for the ECB to “show some compassion” and allow him to play as an England-qualified player fell on deaf ears.
Hemphrey was born in Doncaster, but his cricketing breakthrough came in Australia. He had moved to Brisbane and taken a job as a baggage handler but earned an opportunity to play for Queensland after consistent run-scoring in grade cricket and became a regular in their Sheffield Shield team.
However, after gaining residency in Australia and failing to immediately register as an overseas player for Queensland, he lost his status as an England-qualified player, despite later playing as such during the 2018-19 domestic season.
Glamorgan offered Hemphrey a contract in early 2019 and he spent two seasons at the club, but fielding him alongside their two official overseas players – Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser – this summer would have cost them ECB incentive payments for selecting England-qualified players, which they were unwilling to forego.
Labuschagne, who became close friends with Hemphrey while playing for the county in early 2019, said: “It’s disappointing for him personally. His situation is a unique one. It’s really tough. Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do but it would have been nice to have him over here.”
ESPNcricinfo revealed in January that both the Professional Cricketers’ Association and Glamorgan had made representations on Hemphrey’s behalf. “They were perfectly happy to change the rules when they wanted Jofra Archer to win them a World Cup,” Hemphrey said. “I know I’m no world-beater, but it seems pretty tough to end my career like this.”
“The incentives for fielding home-qualified cricketers are now greater than ever and as a result we were open and honest with Charlie in telling him that it would have to be a consideration in selection moving forward.”
Mark Wallace, Glamorgan’s director of cricket
“The ECB applies the criteria for England Qualification with fairness and consistency across all elite domestic teams and their players,” a spokesperson said at the time.
Mark Wallace, Glamorgan’s director of cricket, said: “The incentives for fielding home-qualified cricketers are now greater than ever and as a result we were open and honest with Charlie in telling him that it would have to be a consideration in selection moving forward.
“We’ve had some long conversations with Charlie to work out the best solution for everyone and finally agreed that we would shake hands on the rest of his contract with the club. Charlie was a very popular member of the squad and has been a hugely positive influence at the club since joining.”
Hemphrey lost his Queensland contract ahead of the 2020-21 season, and struggled with the bat in the Bob Willis Trophy last summer amid the off-field distraction of trying to get his family back to Australia, with a top score of 20 in six innings. His professional career appears to be over.
“I’d like to thank Glamorgan for giving me the opportunity to play county cricket,” he said. “I loved playing for the club, living in Wales and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates.
“When the new regulations came in place, this was always the likely outcome, but I’d like to thank the club for their support at a difficult time. I’ll be supporting the club from Brisbane and will always be a lifelong Glamorgan fan.”
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