London: New Zealand pacer Matt Henry's contract with Kent Cricket for the first seven matches of this season's County Championship has been mutually withdrawn due to the rapidly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
The 28-year-old seamer was set to join Kent for a second stint after having played for the club in 2018 but a cricket shutdown in UK until 28 May due to the coronavirus outbreak meant he will no longer will be able to play for the club this season.
"Kent Cricket can confirm that New Zealand International Matt Henry will no longer be joining the Club for the first seven County Championship matches of 2020," the club said in a statement.
"Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and disruption to the official start of the 2020 county cricket season, both the Club and player have decided to cancel plans which would have seen Henry return to Kent for a second time."
Henry thus became the fourth cricketer afterNathan Lyon, Cheteshwar Pujara and Michael Neser to miss out on a stint in county cricket this year due to the deadly disease.
Kent's Director of Cricket, Paul Downton, said: "Once the decision was announced by the ECB that there would be no cricket until at least the end of May it became inevitable the Matt would not be returning to Kent this season.
"The Club continues to enjoy a good relationship with Matt. He has many friends here and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received when we announced he would return in 2020 is a measure of Matt himself: he's a fantastic person on and off the cricket field.
"We'd like to thank Matt for his understanding in difficult circumstances. Hopefully another opportunity will arise in the near future which will allow him to join us once again.
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