Essex batsman Alastair Cook says he would prefer the County Championship was cancelled altogether this season rather than trying to squeeze in a shortened version.

The coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc with cricket's schedule and the sport has been suspended until May 28 at the earliest.

The season would normally get underway in early April, which means whatever happens from now on, a large chunk of the campaign will be lost.

Essex are the defending champions after they claimed their second title in three years last season.

Tom Harrison, chief executive officer at the ECB, has already said that the "most financially important forms of the game" will take priority this summer which suggests the T20 Blast and the inaugural season of The Hundred would be the most likely competitions to be played.

Cook could find himself with a free summer. Credit: PA

That would mean the County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup would be well down the pecking order, and Cook believes they should just be scrapped if it's not possible to play a reasonable amount of matches.

"In this year, over the next six months, the bigger picture is the most important," Cook told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Whatever happens, if we do play any sort of cricket which hopefully we will, what I hope is that they don't try and have a six-game County Championship or something like that.

"I would rather have one or two full tournaments, because if you do then play that tournament or two tournaments it is so much more rewarding to win it."

Essex players are currently training at home as they wait for news about when they'll be able to start their pre-season preparations as a group.

If no longer form of cricket is played this season, it could mean Cook doesn't feature at all - with the opener not normally considered for Essex's white ball teams.

"We just don't know do we and as an Essex squad we are just doing what everyone else is doing," Cook added.

"We are just waiting to see when we are allowed back into the county ground, when we are able to meet up again and hit balls as a group. Up until that time we just have to sit and wait."