SOMERSET County Cricket Club's new chief executive, Gordon Hollins, has confirmed that the club is in "regular discussions" with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding any changes to the structure of the 2020 season.

While the coronavirus pandemic has led to the ECB suspending all recreational cricket for the foreseeable future, this does not yet apply to the professional game.

The ECB has, however, indicated that it was considering the “possibility of playing matches behind closed doors, or potentially postponing or cancelling elements of the season”.

Somerset announced on Tuesday that tickets for all home matches, plus the tourist fixture between England Lions and the West Indies, were now on sale.

But the same day also saw the club cancel the Members’ Lunch scheduled for today (Thursday), with a statement that said: “The health and safety of our staff, families, members and supporters is our major priority; we will continue to keep everyone up to date with the club’s procedures as the situation develops.”

This afternoon has seen the club release a statement from Hollins, who replaces Andrew Cornish as chief executive.

The statement says: "While it has been an incredibly challenging first few days in post, I am delighted to have started as the new chief executive of Somerset County Cricket Club.

"Of course, these are certainly not the circumstances in which I was expecting to address the members and supporters of the club for the first time.

"We are all experiencing unprecedented times, not just within the sporting world but on a global scale.

"As we enter this unchartered territory together it is important that we adapt to the ever-changing conditions that we face.

"It goes without saying that the health and wellbeing of our players, staff, members, corporate partners, supporters, family and friends are our number one priority, and measures are being put in place to ensure that this is being managed as effectively as possible.

"Any operating policy that we introduce will seek to balance the need to diminish the risk of anyone at the Cooper Associates County Ground catching the virus, whilst also ensuring that we can continue to function as a club in order to meet the needs and expectations of our members, customers and guests.

"I assure you that this will be achieved, and we will be keeping you up to date with our plans at regular intervals in line with government advice as the situation develops.

"Obviously, you will be aware that we are not currently in a position to be able to confirm what, if any, changes are set to be made to the structure of the season, but rest assured that regular discussions are taking place between all of the First Class counties and the ECB.

"We hope to be in a position to offer some degree of clarity on the forthcoming season as soon as any information is available but, as I am sure you can understand, this is a fairly fluid situation and a certain degree of flexibility will be required as the circumstances alter.

"As a club we are committed to keeping you up to date with what is occurring so please do keep an eye on this website and our social media channels.

"We are well aware of your concerns and we will hopefully have a clearer picture of how we will be able to operate as the situation develops.

"I can also assure you that Andy Hurry, Jason Kerr and their staff are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure that the players are ready for the start of the 2020 season, whenever that may be.

"Your continued support and understanding are hugely appreciated at this difficult time."