Hampshire have moved to cancel the contract of Nathan Lyon, the Australia offspinner who had signed as an overseas player for the 2020 summer, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lyon, Australia’s third-highest Test wicket-taker, had been set to feature across a large part of the season – depending on international commitments – but with half of the County Championship already lost, and uncertainty about how much cricket will be played in the UK this summer, the two parties have come to a mutual agreement not to take up the deal.
“These are obviously very uncertain and challenging times, and it’s clear the issues cricket currently faces will contribute to the way in which counties are able to operate and prepare for this season,” Hampshire director of cricket, Giles White, said. “As a result of this and following conversations with Nathan and his management, it was mutually agreed that he would no longer join us this season.
“I would like to thank Nathan and his representatives for their complete understanding and agreement and we hope to welcome him to the club next season.”
Surrey pulled out of a deal for Lyon’s compatriot Michael Neser earlier this week, and similar announcements are likely to be forthcoming as counties prepare themselves for a reduced fixture list and straitened financial circumstances.