The future of first-class cricket looks extremely bleak at the moment.
Adil Rashid caused quite a stir when he announced his intention to focus solely on white-ball cricket last week, with big names such as Michael Vaughan active in their criticism over the decision.
"He could have started the season with lots of wickets. England’s spin department is pretty thin and in a couple of months’ time they could be crying out for someone like Rashid," Vaughan wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
"He could have taken a couple of five-fors and got back in the Test side against India. England are touring West Indies and Sri Lanka this winter, good opportunities for a spinner. But Rashid has given that up aged only 29. Strange."
Rashid's decision sparked fears that many would follow suit, and those fears became a reality yesterday when fellow England player, Alex Hales, also announced his decision to give up red-ball cricket.
TWO MORE ENGLAND PLAYERS COULD FOLLOW SUIT
With financial motives believed to be the major cause for both Hales and Rashid moving away from first-class cricket, it seems likely that many more will announce their intentions to focus solely on white-ball cricket in the future.
And according to the Daily Mail, two more England players could follow the same path in the near future.
David Willey and Liam Plunkett are both out of contract at the end of the 2018 season, and could be attracted by the prospect of making more money from the sport.
Both players remain committed to playing all formats of the game until their contract ends, but either could make the decision to drop red-ball cricket from their schedules when they negotiate their contracts later on this year.
As one-day international players, they can earn more for a few weeks in the Bangladesh Premier League than they pick up on their annual ECB retainer - proving just how much money they could make if they chose to drop red-ball cricket.
Many big names in the cricket world may not like it, but the reality is that players can make a lot more money if they decide to drop first-class cricket.
And as long as that remains, more and more players will follow the lead of Adil Rashid and Alex Hales.
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