The start to the English County season has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the uncertainty the counties are undergoing at the moment, in a generous gesture, Ravichandran Ashwin, Keshav Maharaj and Nicholas Pooran, who were set to represent County Club Yorkshire this season, have mutually cancelled their contracts with the club, according to a statement from the Yorkshire County Cricket Club on their official website.
Martyn Moxon, The Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Director of Cricket said: “Firstly, I really appreciate the players’ understanding in this matter. We have been in regular contact with the players and their agents throughout this Covid pandemic. They have been extremely professional and appreciate the uncertainty facing counties at present. We hope that we will be able to see them at Emerald Headingley in the future.”
South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj was set to re-join the White Rose for their opening two County Championship fixtures against Gloucestershire and Essex. After his departure, Yorkshire were set to add yet more international experience to the spin department later this summer with India’s Ravichandran Ashwin due to play the majority of the remaining Championship fixtures. Nicholas Pooran, the big hitting left handed West Indian batsman had agreed on a second stint at Headingley after agreeing to re-join as Yorkshire Vikings’ overseas player for the T20 Blast campaign.
However, due to the global coronavirus outbreak, all parties have come to an agreement to cancel these contracts.
Ashwin had played County Cricket before, he represented county teams Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire in 2017 and 2019 respectively. This would been his first stint with Yorkshire, a team for whom Cheteshwar Pujara, one of his National teammates, has played for in the last few seasons.
Maharaj represented Yorkshire last year, claiming 38 wickets in only five Championship appearances plus two fifties between June and September. He claimed two five-wicket hauls, a six-for and a seven-for. Maharaj claimed 10 wickets in the match on both occasions against Somerset, including an innings best of 7-52 in the home win at Headingley in July. He then claimed five in each innings in a defeat at Taunton in September. Maharaj has also represented Lancashire in the County Championship.
Nicholas Pooran represented the Yorkshire Vikings thrice last year in their T20 Blast campaign, scoring 122 runs including a half century, along with keeping wicket in every game.