Durham to cut short pre-season Zimbabwe tour over to coronavirus

Durham will cut short their training camp in Zimbabwe and return home on Monday, amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The county had been set to train in the African nation for two weeks, having arrived on 12 March.

On Saturday, Derbyshire announced they would be ending their own pre-season tour to Zimbabwe early, also planning to travel back to England on Monday.

The 2020 County Championship season is scheduled to get under way on 12 April.

A Durham statement on Sunday said: “Following discussions between players, coaching staff, club officials and Cricket Zimbabwe, [we] have made the decision to end their pre-season training camp early and return to the UK.

“The club have been in constant dialogue with Cricket Zimbabwe, whilst monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19.

“It has been agreed by all parties that the best course of action is to return the squad to the UK at the earliest available opportunity.”

The county added that nobody in their travelling party had shown any symptoms associated with the virus.

Director of cricket Marcus North added: “The health and safety of our players coaches and staff is the main consideration in any decision we make.

“Due to the potential travel disruption and uncertainty around the ongoing situation, it is in the best interest of everyone to bring the travelling party back to the UK at this time.”