Lancashire overseas contracts cancelled as staff take pay cut amid coronavirus crisis

Lancashire’s overseas players Glenn Maxwell, BJ Watling and James Faulkner have had their contracts mutually terminated for the 2020 cricket season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all English cricket fixtures have been cancelled until at least May 28, while uncertainty surrounding the season has continued to grow, as The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on April 16 that the Indian Premier League was suspended until further notice.

With no cricket to be played until the scheduled first day of the T20 Blast, counties are facing financial uncertainty, while there is a possibility that the County Championship, which was meant to begin on April 12, could not be played at all this season.

New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Watling was signed to play nine County Championship games, while Australian all-rounders Maxwell and Faulkner were set to feature in this season’s T20 Blast, having both appeared for the county in last year’s competition.

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Above: Faulkner and Maxwell in action in last season’s T20 Blast

However, the club announced on Friday that after discussions between the overseas players, their representatives and Lancashire’s Director of Cricket, Paul Allott, it was mutually agreed that their contracts for the 2020 season would be cancelled.

Additionally, all staff at the club, including players and coaches, have agreed to take a 20% salary reduction for May after a series of conversations between Lancashire Cricket and several senior players.

Allott, said: “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.

“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.

“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. 

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Above: New Zealand ‘keeper Watling on international duty

“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.

“Clearly, we are looking at a condensed and truncated season, and whilst it is of course disappointing not to have any overseas players at our disposal, it does mean that we will be able to give our young, and homegrown players increased opportunities.

“I would also like to thank the current Lancashire squad for agreeing to a 20% salary reduction for the month of May.

“The players were very keen that any salary reductions for them should be in line with the rest of the club’s staff. It has truly been a unified approach to what is a very difficult situation we currently find ourselves in.”

Header image courtesy of Lancashire Cricket on Twitter, with thanks

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