England captain Joe Root ‘chomping at the bit’ to play his part in Yorkshire CCC T20 opener

JOE ROOT is back to help kickstart Yorkshire’s bid to win the T20 Blast.

Joe Root: Speaking with James Anderson, is back for Yorkshire. Picture: PA

The England Test captain has been made available for Thursday’s opening game against Notts at Headingley.

Root could theoretically be available for the first half of the competition depending on international commitments and how England want to manage his workload.

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Five of Yorkshire’s 10 group games will have been completed a week before the start of the three-match one-day international series against Australia on September 11, with Root unlikely to be involved in the preceding three-match T20 series against the same opponents.

England are due to select their T20 squad on Sunday, with four Yorkshire players currently unavailable due to the three-match T20 series against Pakistan that begins on Friday.

Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan and Yorkshire’s new T20 captain David Willey are all involved in that series, with batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore set to captain Yorkshire in Willey’s absence.

Yorkshire play a Bank Holiday T20 double-header against Derbyshire at Headingley on Sunday and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Monday before taking on Leicestershire at Headingley on September 2 and Durham at Chester-le-Street on September 4.

They then play their final Bob Willis Trophy group game against Leicestershire at Headingley from September 6 before their final batch of five T20 group games starts against Leicestershire at Grace Road on September 11.

Root’s availability beyond Thursday is ambiguous but Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire first-team coach, said: “Rooty is definitely going to play on Thursday. Everything’s a bit up in the air after that, and I just see it as a bonus whatever we’ve got him for because we didn’t expect to have him.

“I spoke to Rooty on Monday night and he’s chomping at the bit to get going. He’s got a point to prove if he’s not in the England T20 set-up, which is a good thing for us.”

Gale described Matthew Fisher (abdominal) as “touch and go” for the first game and said fellow pace bowler Ben Coad (side) is a week away.

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James Mitchinson