Gloucestershire have confirmed that Cheteshwar Pujara will not play for the club this year.
But with the first seven rounds of the Championship postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and international travel severely limited, he will be unable to fulfil his deal.
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Pujara is the second overseas player to have his stint in county cricket called off due to the pandemic, following Surrey’s agreement to void Michael Neser’s contract, and several more are likely to follow in the coming days.
The county season had currently been postponed until May 28, but it is expected that a further delay will follow with the UK likely to remain in lockdown for several weeks. It is possible that if and when a season does start, it will do so without any overseas players due to restrictions on international travel.
“We spent much of the winter preparing for the season in this, our 150th anniversary year, and we know it is a deep disappointment to all staff, players and everyone involved with the club that the season has been delayed,” Gloucestershire’s chairman and chief executive said in a statement.
“We will also now miss the opportunity to see Cheteshwar Pujara play for the mighty Glos in the 2020 season which we know our supporters were really looking forward to.”
Gloucestershire also confirmed that the club has “significantly reduced the number of staff and players actively working”, and that it has made “sizeable savings” for April and May.
“Our financial projections show that, even on the worst-case scenario of no cricket at all this season, the club should be able to break even this year and be ready to face the future in a strong financial position when this crisis has passed,” the statement said.