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Essex trip to Sri Lanka cancelled

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:00 13 March 2020

Essex celebrate winning the County Championship at Taunton (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Essex celebrate winning the County Championship at Taunton (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Essex County Cricket Club have confirmed their MCC Champion County match against the MCC in Sri Lanka has been cancelled.

The fixture was due to take place at the Galle International Stadium between March 24-27 but has been called off in light of the global outbreak of COVID-19.

The club have confirmed their pre-season training camp in Abu Dhabi will continue as planned, with players and staff having flown out to the UAE on Monday for 12 days of training and matches.

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Fixtures against Worcestershire, Somerset and local teams have been cancelled, but the Essex squad will remain to prepare for the 2020 county season.

Head coach Anthony McGrath said: 'It's a shame the trip to Sri Lanka has been cancelled along with the fixtures we were due to play in Abu Dhabi, but we're still using this trip as a way to get ourselves sharp ahead of the 2020 campaign and ensure that when things get underway against Yorkshire in April, we'll be as prepared as possible.

'Since arriving the spread of coronavirus has increased globally but rest assured that all the players, coaches and support staff are taking the necessary measures to decrease the risk of infection under the guidance of our medical professionals.

'The health and wellbeing of the squad is at the forefront of our day-to-day operations.'

Essex won an historic County Championship and Vitality Blast T20 double in 2019 and are due to start the new season with the annual three-day curtain-raiser against Cambridge University at Fenner's on April 13.

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