According to a statement released by the Kent Cricket board, seasoned New Zealand pacer Matt Henry’s county contract has been cancelled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, Nathan Lyon and Michael Neser’s contracts were cancelled by Hampshire and Surrey Cricket, respectively.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, amongst all overseas players who have had their County Championship contract cancelled for the forthcoming season was New Zealand’s Matt Henry. The seasoned pacer had a fruitful season with Kent Cricket in 2018/19, having bagged 75 wickets from 11 matches whilst helping the side achieve their promotion to the first division of the Championship.
However, as the COVID-19 broke out and the ECB postponed all cricket till May 28, it was unlikely that overseas players would retain their contracts. While the county club has already furloughed most of their players and the majority of their non-playing staff, Henry’s contract was also cancelled. He, in fact, joins other overseas stars including Nathan Lyon (Hampshire) and Michael Neser (Surrey) who had their contracts cancelled last week.
"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. 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," a club statement read.
"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," Kent's Director of Cricket, Paul Downton was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.