Australian batsman Matthew Wade has withdrawn from a stint with Somerset in English county cricket due to a knee injury.
Wade was scheduled to play the first seven matches of Somerset's 2020 County Championship campaign.
“It's a big blow. I was looking forward to the challenge of playing county cricket in England this summer, but after discussions with the Cricket Australia medical team regrettably, it became clear that I wouldn't be in a position to join Somerset,” said Wade.
Wade was part of Australia‘s recent limited-overs tour of South Africa. He was also in the squad for this month's aborted ODI series against New Zealand. Prior, he played for the Hobart Hurricanes in Australia's Big Bash League.
“Obviously this is disappointing news for Matthew, but injuries are part and parcel of the game. I know that our Members and supporters were looking forward to seeing a player of his calibre lining up for us this summer and we share in their disappointment,” added Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry.
“We wish Matthew a quick recovery and we appreciate the correspondence and updates from Cricket Australia.”
ECB suspends recreational cricket
Whether the full English domestic season goes ahead, amid preventative measures against the spread of the coronavirus, remains in the balance. The England and Wales Cricket Board, meanwhile, have suspended club and amateur cricket around the United Kingdom.
“Following the government's latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended,” read a statement from the ECB.
“This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity. Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation's mental and physical well-being, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.
“Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months. It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led and we will continue to work with government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.”