Essex cut Abu Dhabi tour short

A view of the cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

A view of the cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Essex County Cricket Club have announced they will be returning home early from their pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi.

A statement released earlier on Friday revealed they would not be travelling on to Sri Lanka for the MCC Champion County match in Galle, but would continue their training camp having flown out on Monday.

The defending champions were due to stay until March 21, but after considering the current situation, with the Premier and Football League postponing their seasons until the weekend of April 4, a decision was taken to return to Chelmsford this weekend.

Chief executive Derek Bowden said: 'We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation for a while and although the area we're based in is currently one of the least affected regions, the health and wellbeing of our players and staff is our highest priority as is the season ahead.

'Therefore, the decision has been made for everybody to return early and to continue with pre-season preparations at Chelmsford.

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'We'd like to thank and acknowledge the members and fans who were planning on making the trip to support the team in both Abu Dhabi and Sri Lanka.'

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