Former Australian pacer Peter Siddle, whose contract with the Essex has been deferred until 2021, has said "it's a shame he won't be returning" to the club this year.
On Friday, Essex announced that Siddle will not join up with the side during the 2020 campaign and instead, his contract has been deferred to 2021 as team continue to find cost-cutting measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's a shame I won't be returning to Chelmsford this year as I was really looking forward to the season with the Eagles, but there are plenty of things more important than cricket going on in the world at the moment," said Siddle in a statement released on the club website.
Siddle first signed for the club in 2018 where he took 37 wickets. He then committed his future to Essex in 2019 by signing a two-year contract.
"In light of the current situation, it makes sense for me to come back over for the 2021 season when hopefully we're back to normal and playing cricket again.
"It feels like a long way off at the moment, but I'm really excited to see all the boys and play at The Cloudfm County Ground again," he added.
Derek Bowden, Chief Executive of Essex Cricket, said: "Peter Siddle was scheduled to be arriving in the UK last week, but we have together made the decision to defer his contract to the 2021 season.
"I'd like to thank Peter and his management for their understanding and we're looking forward to welcoming him back next year," he added.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had previously announced that no cricket would be played until May 28 but that date has now been an extended till July 1 in view of the prevailing situation getting worse due to COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.