MARTYN MOXON admits he is disappointed that Yorkshire will be without four of their England players for a game that could have a huge bearing on the destiny of the County Championship title, but says he can understand the reasons for their absence.
Yorkshire will be without batsmen Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth, plus pace bowler Liam Plunkett, for the match against current leaders Durham at Chester-le-Street starting on June 28 after they were named in a 14-man pre-Ashes training camp squad.
The quartet, along with Durham’s Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, will travel to Spain for four days of training and planning meetings beginning from June 27 designed to help the England players familiarise themselves with new coach Trevor Bayliss ahead of the Test series against Australia that starts on July 8.
Although Bayliss was appointed last month, he does not arrive in England until next Thursday from his native Australia, and the 14 players selected – who do not include the Yorkshire all-rounder Adil Rashid – head the queue for a place in the first Test at Cardiff.
“There’s not much we can do about it,” said director of cricket Moxon, whose side are striving to retain the Championship crown.
“Clearly, from our point of view, it would be better if the lads were available to play for us, but we know how these things work.
“I suppose, given that Bayliss has not been able to get here any earlier, you can understand why he’d want all the players together, so you can see the logic behind it.
“But it would have been nice for us to have everybody available for what is such an important game.”
Moxon expressed mixed feelings about the omission of Rashid, with the Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali preferred instead.
The England squad also includes Derbyshire left-arm pace bowler Mark Footitt, the leading wicket-taker in last year’s Championship.
“As far as Adil is concerned, it’s down to the selectors, obviously,” said Moxon.
“Again, if we’re being selfish, it’s good that he’s available to play for us.
“But it would appear, from the squad they’ve announced, that he’s not going to be involved in that first Test.
“If that’s the case, I’ve got mixed emotions as it’s disappointing for him, but clearly great from our point of view to have him around.”
The Ashes training camp –jointly conceived by Bayliss, director of cricket Andrew Strauss and captain Alastair Cook – further highlights the lottery of county cricket and the difficulties faced by clubs such as Yorkshire.
Ahead of their seventh Championship match of the season against Notts on Monday, Yorkshire have not been able to field the same side for two games running, with England calls primarily to blame.
In announcing the training camp, Strauss said: “With Trevor Bayliss arriving in the country next Thursday, Trevor, Alastair and I felt it important that both players and management likely to be involved in the early stages of the Investec Ashes have chance to meet him and fully understand his approach prior to meeting up for the start of the Test series.
“With that in mind, we have arranged a preparation camp in Spain.
“This will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead up to the first Test in Cardiff.
“The squad for the first Test will be announced within a few of days of returning from the camp.”
Before Yorkshire return to Championship duty, they have the small matter of two NatWest T20 Blast games that could have a huge bearing on whether they reach the knockout stages.
They play Notts at Headingley tonight (7pm) before meeting holders Warwickshire at Edgbaston on Sunday (2.30pm).
“It’s a really important few days in the T20 and we need some points to get back on track,” said Moxon, with Yorkshire having lost their last three after starting their campaign with two straight wins.
“There’s such fine lines in T20 and it’s about trying to get the momentum back. The way our group is panning out, everyone is beating everyone else, so we know that things can change quickly if we get on a roll.
“Warwicks have had the standout start, but everyone else is winning a few, losing a few, and these two games are going to be important.”
Matthew Fisher returns to the Yorkshire squad in place of Jack Brooks, who is rested, while Notts have signed Australian all-rounder Dan Christian for the rest of their T20 Blast campaign as a replacement for Darren Sammy.
Yorkshire (from): Bairstow, Ballance, Bresnan, Finch, Fisher, Gale (capt), Gibson, Leaning, Lees, Maxwell, Middlebrook, Patterson, Pyrah, Rhodes.
England Ashes training camp squad: Ali, Anderson, Ballance, Bell, Broad, Buttler, Cook (capt), Finn, Footitt, Lyth, Plunkett, Root, Stokes, Wood.