Lancashire have confirmed that contracts for their overseas players this season – BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner – have been cancelled after the players and club came to a mutual agreement.
The decision has come as a result of the coronavirus crisis and the disruption it has caused the cricketing calendar, with no county cricket to be played before at least May 28.
New Zealand wicketkeeper Watling had been signed for Lancashire’s first nine County Championship matches, while the Australian duo of Maxwell and Faulkner were set to turn out in the T20 Blast.
With continued uncertainty over when the season will actually start, director of cricket Paul Allott contacted the three players and their representatives, leading to the mutual agreement for the contracts to be cancelled. There remains the option for Lancashire to sign all three for the 2021 season.
“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,” said Allott. “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.
“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.”
Lancashire have also announced that all staff, including players, have agreed to a 20 per cent pay cut for May.
“I would also like to thank the current Lancashire squad for agreeing to a 20% salary reduction for the month of May,” Allott added. “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.”