Coronavirus Outbreak: Lancashire ceases contracts of BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner in wake of COVID-19 crisis

Coronavirus Outbreak: Lancashire ceases contracts of BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner in wake of COVID-19 crisis

London: Lancashire Cricket on Friday mutually terminated the contracts of BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner as this season’s County Championship has been postponed till 28 May due to the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

File image of James Faulkner. AP

New Zealand wicketkeeper Watling was supposed to play the first nine games for Lancashire in Division One, while Australia duo of Maxwell and Faulkner were signed for the Vitality Blast.

However, with the COVID-19 outbreak forcing a cricket shutdown in UK until 28 May, means the troika will not be able to play for the club this season.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and given the cancellation of all fixtures until 28 May and the current uncertainty surrounding the season beyond that date Lancashire’s Director of Cricket Paul Allott has contacted all three players and representatives over the last two weeks and having explained the situation, it was mutually agreed that all three contracts for the 2020 season would be cancelled,” the club said in a statement.

Lancashire’s Director of Cricket, Paul Allott thanked the players for their understanding and said the option of signing them for the 2021 campaign remains open.

“I would like to thank BJ, Glenn, James and their representatives for their total understanding of the current situation and full agreement of this decision,” Lancashire’s director of cricket, Paul Allott, said.

“These are clearly very uncertain and challenging times for all counties, both financially and operationally, and it’s clear the issues we face at the moment will have an impact on the way we prepare for the domestic season,” Allott said.

“The overseas player situation is a policy that has been discussed nationwide and we think it’s prudent to mutually come to an agreement with the players we had originally signed,” the former England pacer added.

“We will keep in touch with the players and their representatives, and as part of the agreement we’ve come to, we do have an option to sign them for the 2021 campaign.”

Earlier, New Zealand pacer Matt Henry’s contract with Kent Cricket was also cancelled, while Nathan Lyon, Cheteshwar Pujara and Michael Neser too missed out on a stint in county cricket this year due to the deadly contagion.

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