Warwickshire bowler Lee Daggett may have had a miserable few weeks, but whatever else happens to him, it appears he can be sure of the fulsome support of his family.
I understand that the seam bowler’s mother has, unbeknown to her son, offered to pay off the remainder of his salary to enable him to continue his playing career.
Kathleen Daggett, who lives in Perth, South Australia, has written to Warwickshire in an attempt to end the stalemate that has prevented her son from going on trial at Leicestershire.
Lee Daggett, who has been informed that he will not be offered a new deal at Edgbaston when his contract expires at the end of next month, had been offered a trial at Grace Road.
Leicestershire are reluctant to commit to paying him a month’s salary, however, until they have observed him in a match situation, while Warwickshire have refused to release him until they are paid.
They insist that it would be folly to pay the wages of a man who could deny them promotion in both the championship or the Pro40. The result has left Lee Daggett in limbo: unwanted at Edgbaston but unable to move on to Grace Road.
To make matters worse for him, Leicestershire last week announced their intention to pursue other options instead. While they remain keen to have a closer look at the 25-year-old seamer, they were concerned at the damage the issue was doing to the relationship between the clubs and thought it best to withdraw.
Mrs Daggett’s generosity might not be enough to secure her son another playing contract. Leicestershire can offer no guarantees about his long-term future until they have seen him at close quarters, while they are unlikely to accept money in order to pay Warwickshire.
Leicestershire will be keen not to set a precedent in paying someone in Daggett’s position. While it is normal for counties benefiting from a player’s services to pay them during a loan period, the policy is not so clear when the player has been notified of their impending release.
Certainly Kevin Latouf (on trial at Warwickshire from Hampshire) is still being paid by Hampshire, while all clubs have been notified that Daniel Rowe (who will be released by Leicestershire next month) is available to go loan, free of charge, immediately. ‘Daggett-gate’ has raised complex questions that can be seen from either side.
Mrs Daggett does not want to involve herself in the politics of the situation, however. She just wants the best for he son. While her selfless act of generosity may cause embarrassment at both clubs, it could also help resuscitate Lee Daggett’s career; a career that could have its brightest days to come.
As James Joyce wrote: “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world, a mother’s love is not.”