YORKSHIRE have revealed that Joe Root is set to miss the start of the county season with the broken right thumb that has ruled him out of the World Twenty20.
No timescale had been put on Root’s return by England after he broke the thumb in eight places during the one-day series against West Indies last week.
But Yorkshire say the 23-year-old could be sidelined for up to six weeks and is therefore a major doubt for their opening County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton, which starts four weeks on Sunday.
Root would then face a race against time to be fit for Yorkshire’s first home game, beginning against Northamptonshire the following week.
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, said: “I saw Joe on Tuesday and the injury is likely to keep him out for about six weeks.
“He’s clearly a big doubt for the start of the season and he might miss the first Championship game. After that, we’ll just have to see.
“He’s naturally very disappointed but he’s also philosophical about it and the key now is for him to get fit as soon as possible,” he said.
Root sustained the injury in the third and final one-day international in Antigua when he was struck three balls into his innings by pace bowler Ravi Rampaul.
Never was the wounded tiger syndrome more apparent, however, as Root battled through palpable discomfort to strike 107, his maiden one-day international hundred.
“What particularly impressed me about the innings was that it proved that what happened in Australia hasn’t affected him,” said Moxon, referring to England’s Ashes whitewash Down Under.
“Joe’s come straight back to form with two hundreds – he got the other one in a warm-up game – and although it’s been a disappointing winter for him team-wise, long-term I think it will be a positive for him.
“Joe’s the sort of character who will have learned from the experience in Australia rather than been scarred by it.
“Again, having spoken to him briefly, I think what he’s taken from the winter batting-wise is the importance of sticking to a very simple game plan that he knows works for himself rather than maybe listening to lots of different advice and not knowing whether to stick or twist.”
Yorkshire today embark on a two-week tour of Sri Lanka. They play a two-day game and two T20 games among themselves in the first week, followed by another two-day match and two T20 matches against local opposition the following week.
Squad: Ashraf, Ballance, Brooks, Coad, Gale (captain), Hodd, Hodgson, Leaning, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Pyrah, Rafiq, Rashid, Rhodes, Robinson, Sidebottom, Tattersall.