Lancashire Cricket have confirmed that the contracts of the club’s overseas players BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner have been mutually terminated for the 2020 campaign.
New Zealand wicket keeper batsman BJ Watling was signed for the opening nine Specsavers County Championship games whilst Maxwell and Faulkner would have played for Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast competition, having both featured in last season’s competition for the Red Rose.
However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and given the cancellation of all fixtures until May 28 – 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.
In addition, the club has also agreed with all staff a 20% salary reduction in May. This has also been unanimously agreed to by the Lancashire players. The pay cut has been agreed by the playing squad following a number of conversations between Lancashire Cricket and several of its 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.
“We were all looking forward to welcoming BJ Watling to Emirates Old Trafford for the majority of our Specsavers County Championship campaign, whilst welcoming Glenn and James back to the Club for our Vitality Blast campaign.
“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.
“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.
“We have been really pleased with the application shown by the players over the past month in what is a completely unprecedented situation. What has impressed me most is their willingness to get involved and help out in any way they can whether it be calling our older Members and creating content for the Club’s digital channels. They have supported with fitness tips and coaching videos for recreational clubs and players, involved themselves with the Lancashire Cricket Foundation and have also assisted the Club from a commercial perspective, whilst continuing their fitness programmes set out by the Sports Science and Medical team.”
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