Derbyshire County Cricket Club can confirm that the club’s pre-season tour to Zimbabwe will be concluded early and all players and staff will begin their journey back to the UK on Monday.
The club has been in constant contact with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and has received a great deal of support from the local authorities in Zimbabwe as the global COVID-19 situation develops.
While no member of the touring group has shown any symptoms related to COVID-19, the health and safety of our players and staff remains of paramount importance and therefore the decision has been made to bring the group home at the earliest available opportunity.
Members of the playing staff met with coaches and the off-field team earlier this morning and, with uncertainty around potential travel disruption, the decision was made to take every necessary precaution in-line with government and governing body advice.
The squad fulfilled its Twenty20 fixture against a Zimbabwe Select XI at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo, on Saturday 14 March, before preparing to return to the UK.
Head of Cricket, Dave Houghton, said: “While the decision to return was not an easy one to make, it is the correct one for all players and everyone associated with the club currently in Zimbabwe.
“I would like to thank Zimbabwe Cricket for their hospitality and the local authorities for their guidance during the last few days.
“We will continue our pre-season preparations back in Derby to give the squad the best possible opportunity to be match-ready for the coming season.”
The club will closely monitor the developing situation and continue to follow government guidelines in relation to all employees and visitors to The Pattonair County Ground.