Published: 08:42, 21 March 2020
| Updated: 08:44, 21 March 2020
Kent’s cricketers will not start their season until the end of May at the earliest.
The ECB has announced the 2020 season is being postponed until May 28.
Work has started on revised schedules to begin in June, July or August, with the new schedule prioritising on playing as much international and domestic cricket as possible.
The ECB are not ruling out beginning the season behind closed doors.
The first seven weeks of the season, which will now not take place, had seen Kent due to play seven County Championship Division 1 matches, including two games at Canterbury and one at Beckenham.
Kent are due to start their T20 Blast campaign against Sussex Sharks at Hove on Thursday, May 28 before hosting Surrey at Canterbury the following evening.
Kent chief executive Simon Storey said: “ECB have been working very closely with all first class counties to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on this summer’s cricket schedule.
"Whilst the delay to the start of the season will no doubt be disappointing to many cricket fans, we fully support the ECB’s decision.
"Our priority has to be the health and welfare of everyone who plays, watches or follows cricket and to ensure that we support Government and Public Health England’s measures to protect communities across Britain from the spread of COVID-19 virus.
"The club’s COVID-19 Task Force have been working for some time on mitigating the financial implications of the delay.
"Although we face an incredibly difficult and complex set of challenges, we continue to be confident that by taking appropriate measures within the business and with appropriate support from key stakeholders, we will be able to navigate a route through this crisis.
"We are pursuing all options vigorously and risk mitigation measures are being put in place.
"We are working closely and collaboratively with the ECB and our fellow first class counties to ensure that a game-wide plan is in place to cover the various scenarios, be that a shortened season or no season at all.
"We believe that everyone in the cricket family across the UK is approaching this crisis with a desire to act in the best interests of the game's stakeholders, at all levels.
"Clearly, these are challenging times, not only for cricket but for so many around the world and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.”
More by this authorMatthew Panting