LANCASHIRE captain Dane Vilas has been reflecting on life in lockdown as the county's cricketers face an uncertain future this summer.

The Hundred, featuring eight city-based franchises rather than the traditional 18 counties, is the latest cricketing casualty of coronavirus, with organisers announcing it will be pushed back to the summer of 2021 following Wednesday's ECB board meeting discussing the matter via teleconference.

Lack of fans at the stadium, the furlough of staff at host venues, and travel uncertainty and availability of overseas stars were three primary reasons behind the decision.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to the start of the English season being put back until at least July 1, and left many counties facing a potentially damaging shortfall in finances.

The club confirmed on April 7 that it does not intend to furlough playing staff. "None of [the club's training regime] would be available to the players if they were to be furloughed, and it is our intention not to do so, whilst keeping the situation under review," said Paul Allott, the director of cricket.

However, deals for overseas players BJ Watling, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner have been cancelled for 2020.

"There is absolutely no doubt that cricket, and sport for that fact, pales into insignificance at a time such as this, said Vilas, writing an open letter to Lancashire supporters. "It’s been devastating to see so many people affected in the UK, and also back home in South Africa, and it will, of course, have a major effect on people’s mental health and wellbeing. I hope there is positive news soon, and that we do get to play some cricket later this summer.

"It’s been about a month-and-a-half since we were told not to come into Emirates Old Trafford and we should be preparing for our fourth County Championship Division One match this weekend but we find ourselves, just like the rest of the country, stuck indoors and filling our days with activities we could never have dreamt of only a few months ago."

Vilas has faced the extra stress of not being able to return to his native South Africa and has even been absent from the familiar surroundings of Emirates Old Trafford.

"Luckily my wife and family are keeping well," he said. "We are currently living down in London where my wife works. I’m normally based in the Hilton Garden Inn at Emirates Old Trafford during the season, but I have to say, it has been really nice to spend some quality time with the family. The Club, as it has done for all the Lancashire players, delivered some basic gym equipment which gives me some more physical activity over and above the one outside exercise each day.

"Over the last month, all of the players have been given personalised strength and conditioning programmes, to ensure we are staying as fit as possible.

"We are in contact with the Club’s sports science and medical team, as well as the coaching staff and our psychologist, Lee Richardson, who is available to speak to as well. As a squad we are all keeping in touch through our WhatsApp groups, as everyone is these days. We’ve also done a couple of quiz nights, as is the course at the moment, which have been good fun, organised by Mark Chilton who loves a good quiz. It’s nice to come together as a team, even if it is over Zoom!"

The club has offered 5000 tickets for a T20 Blast game to NHS staff as "a gesture of support for their ongoing heroic efforts" with Vilas saying the whole squad has come together to offer help to the Red Rose supporters.

"The squad have also really impressed me helping out in contacting members and assisting with other areas of the Club’s day-to-day operations," he said. "This is a united approach to tackling the virus from players, backroom staff and all other employees. The players agreed to a 20% pay cut in line with all other members of staff because we are going through this together.

"The Club’s motto is Red Rose Together and now is the time for us to stand alongside each other to see through these rough times and come through a stronger Club. If there is anything we, as a group of players, or the Club can do to help you during these difficult times, please get in touch.

"We are missing cricket just as much as our Members and supporters are. That isn’t limited to just the playing side of things, we have an extremely tight knit group of players and are all desperately missing the social element of the game. Whether that be enjoying a drink after a days’ play to celebrate team or individual success, or the day-to-day activities during training, we miss being together, and I understand that will be much the same for many of our Members.

"If you know someone who you think would really appreciate a call from one of the players or coaches, email the Club on We want to help."