PACEMAN Fidel Edwards expressed his pride at representing Hampshire and added: “I hope this isn’t it for me and county cricket.”

The Ageas Bowl outfit last week announced the former West Indies bowler would not feature for the club during 2020.

The mutual decision, which was made in agreement with Edwards and his management, came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, coupled with the changing status of Kolpak players from the 2021 season, means it is likely the popular 37-year-old has played his last competitive game for Hampshire.

If Edwards is unable to return in a competitive capacity, the club intend host a testimonial match for him in 2021.

The bowler said: “It’s a bit sad that my Hampshire career looks to be ending in these circumstances, during the pandemic, but there is a lot to celebrate and remember from my days at Hampshire.

“I want to thank all my team-mates and the staff at the club who have made me feel so welcome and, of course, the supporters too.

“I hope this isn’t it for me and county cricket, but for now I am proud to have pulled on the Hampshire shirt and look forward to returning for my testimonial match in 2021.”

Edwards joined Hampshire in 2015 and picked up 45 first-class wickets in just eight matches at an average of 20.80 in his debut campaign.

After a suffering a season-ending injury early in 2016, the right-arm seamer returned in typically emphatic style to pick up 33 wickets at an average of just 24.06 in 2017.

Recent summers were equally fruitful for the West Indian as he passed 50 first-class wickets in a season for the first time in his career in 2018 before taking 48 scalps at an average of just 25.83, including four five-wicket hauls, in 2019.

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: ‘’Circumstances have conspired against a return for Fidel and sadly, it may be that he has played his last game for the club.

“Personally, I can’t speak highly enough of Fidel and the impact that he has had. He’s been an unbelievable player over his whole career but most recently with us.

“We will miss him in every way, he’s been a great team-mate and a wonderful performer, and we all look forward to welcoming Fidel back next year to pay tribute to his outstanding contribution to the club.’’