London, April 24 (IANS) Essex county cricket club have confirmed that former Australian pacer Peter Siddle will not join up with the side during the 2020 campaign.
Instead, his contract has been deferred to 2021 as teams continue to find cost cutting measures in the wake of the of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a shame I won’t be returning to Chelmsford this year as I was really looking forward to the season with the Eagles, but there are plenty of things more important than cricket going on in the world at the moment,” said Siddle.
“In light of the current situation, it makes sense for me to come back over for the 2021 season when hopefully we’re back to normal and playing cricket again.
“It feels like a long way off at the moment, but I’m really excited to see all the boys and play at The Cloudfm County Ground again,” he added.
Derek Bowden, Chief Executive of Essex Cricket, said: “Peter Siddle was scheduled to be arriving in the UK last week, but we have together made the decision to defer his contract to the 2021 season.
“We are constantly reviewing the situation with our other overseas players in light of when various competitions will commence, together with their own personal safety and ability to travel.
“I’d like to thank Peter and his management for their understanding and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back next year,” he added.
Siddle had joined a long list of players who have either had their county contracts terminated or deferred so far. Players like Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser and Matt Henry have already had their contracts terminated whereas Derbyshire pushed deals for Sean Abbott and Alister McDermott to next year as well.
On the other hand, Lancashire has cancelled the contracts of BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner while retaining an option to sign them for the next season.
Professional cricket remains suspended in England until May 28 due to COVID-19 which has so far claimed more than 1.8 lakh lives across the world.