Derbyshire end Zimbabwe tour over coronavirus fears
Image: Twitter

English county Derbyshire will curtail their pre-season tour to Zimbabwe and head home on Monday due to fears over the coronavirus.

With the deadly pandemic causing chaos with the global sporting schedule, Derbyshire have elected to end their tour, although no one on their team has the virus at present.

A statement on Derbyshire’s official website said: “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.”

Derbyshire said they will closely monitor the situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and “continue to follow government guidelines in relation to all employees and visitors to the Pattonair County Ground”.

Derbyshire arrived in Zimbabwe earlier this week and beat a Select XI by 48 runs in their opening T20 match in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Derbyshire’s head of cricket Dave Houghton added: “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.