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COVID-19 chaos leads to cancellation of Lyon's Hampshire contract
Hampshire CCC News

COVID-19 chaos leads to cancellation of Lyon's Hampshire contract

Nathan Lyon will not play for Hampshire in this year's edition of the County Championship after his contract was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The Australian off-spinner is ranked third in the country's list for the all-time Test wicket-takers with 390 scalps and was supposed to be a vital cog of Hampshire's lineup in the upcoming season.

Lyon was set to be available for a "significant" portion of Hampshire's tournament campaign but his debut stint in the English domestic circuit has met another obstacle.

"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," said the club's director of cricket, Giles White.

"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."

Professional cricket in England has been delayed to May 28 but the chances of a resumption of normal sporting ties remain bleak given the exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK.

Lyon's absence is another addition to the growing list of overseas players unable to link up with their franchises in the 2020 County Championship. Earlier this week, the contracts of Cheteshwar Pujara (Gloucestershire) and Michael Neser (Surrey) were annulled.