2020 was supposed to be a big year for Indian off-spinner R Ashwin, who tried to make a comeback into the Indian white ball teams. The player had been traded to the Delhi Capitals in the IPL so that he could bowl on a pitch that suited him better. He was also slated to play for Yorkshire in the English county season but the current UK lockdown courtesy the ongoing coronavirus has led to a change of plans.
According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, it is now being revealed that county club Yorkshire have terminated three overseas contracts for the upcoming 2020 season. The coronavirus has forced all cricket in the UK to be cancelled till July 1 as a part of the UK lockdown. In this scenario, not only is the county season's schedule under speculation but its whole running may be under speculation as well.
According to the report, by mutual consent, Yorkshire has terminated the contracts of Indian spinner R Ashwin, West Indian wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran and South African bowler Keshav Maharaj. R Ashwin and Maharaj were supposed to play in the county season while Pooran was supposed to play for the team in the T20 Blast. The director of cricket for the county, Martyn Moxon, was thankful to the players for their understanding of the matter and Moxon established that the team would be hoping to see them again in the future.
Ashwin could have joined an elite list of Indian cricketers to have played for Yorkshire such as Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara. Prior to this news, Pujara too saw his Gloucestershire deal cancelled as well.
These contract cancellations come in the light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as counties will try to cut costs due to the unpredictable nature of the situation. The entire English summer may be under doubt as the coronavirus has forced a UK lockdown that will prohibit cricket in the country till at least July 1. England were supposed to host the West Indies, starting June 4.
The ECB's inaugural 'The Hundred' format may also be postponed to 2021. R Ashwin's Delhi Capitals debut will also have to wait as the BCCI has currently suspended the IPL until further notice.