WORCESTERSHIRE CCC skipper Joe Leach has revealed the squad are itching to return to action – but the only thing they can play is the waiting game.
The Pears were due to start their County Championship Division Two campaign at Lord’s against Middlesex on Sunday, April 12, but the Coronavirus outbreak has left them kicking their heels.
Leach and Co’s first home match of the season was scheduled to be this coming Saturday’s visit of Sussex to Kidderminster, but instead keeping fit at home is all the players can do.
Leach said: “I hope this message finds you all safe and well and that everyone is managing the best they can with all that is going on at the moment.
“It really is strange to think that last week we should have played our first County Championship game at Lord’s and we should now all be eagerly looking forward to our first home game of the season against Sussex.
“We are going through such an unprecedented event and it obviously goes without saying that the sooner we can safely return to normality the better.
“After going through the rigour of the winter and all the physical training that it entails, the players were desperate for the season to start and there would have been no better reward for the hard work of the off-season than a trip to Lord’s for our first game.
“Alas, this has not transpired and instead we must concentrate on the ‘national effort’ and playing our part in the best way that we can.
“I would like to express my true admiration for all those who are tackling this pandemic on the frontline, in particular the wonderful NHS and all other key workers whom we cannot thank enough.”
The popular captain added: “I imagine it is not just the players who are yearning for a return to action as a new season offers the chance to catch up with those we have not seen over the winter months.
“The ‘cricket family’ is a tight-knit one and I know I speak for all the players when I say we are looking forward to seeing you all again at Blackfinch New Road as soon as possible.
“It is times like this that make us realise how lucky we are and I’m sure nobody will be taking a day at the cricket for granted once this is all over.
“In the meantime, I would like to offer my personal thanks to the skeleton staff at WCCC who continue to work hard in order to give us a place to come back to when this is over.
“It has been nice to see some greenery at our ground after what has been an extraordinary beginning to 2020 with the floods.
“We sincerely hope cricket will return as soon as possible and for now the players continue to stay as ready and as fit as they are able – eagerly awaiting a return to action.
“Until then, I wish you and all your families all the best and I hope to see you all soon.”