England duo Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow free to feature for Yorkshire in Cup

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root playing for Yorkshire last season. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root playing for Yorkshire last season. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
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JOE ROOT and Jonny Bairstow have been made available for Yorkshire’s first three Royal London Cup matches.

England have decreed that the duo can play against Notts at Trent Bridge (April 29), Lancashire at Headingley (May 1) and Durham at Headingley (May 3).

The availability of new England Test captain Root and batsman/wicketkeeper Bairstow will clearly boost Yorkshire as they look to go one better in this year’s 50-over competition.

Chris Waters

As exclusively revealed in The Yorkshire Post earlier this month, Root and Bairstow can also play in Yorkshire’s third County Championship match of the season, against Hampshire at Southampton (April 21-24).

But England are not allowing them to play in the first two Championship fixtures, at home to Hampshire and away to Warwickshire, while Adil Rashid has also been made unavailable for the first Championship match.

However, Rashid has been permitted to play in the first three Royal London Cup games before England depart for a Champions Trophy training camp in Spain.

Yorkshire will be without their biggest stars during that competition, which starts on June 1 and is then followed by seven Tests against South Africa and the West Indies, plus further one-day and T20 internationals.

Fellow Yorkshire players Liam Plunkett and David Willey are available for all games from the start of the season, although Willey is not expected to feature until the Championship trip to Hampshire after a recent shoulder operation.

The availability of new England Test captain Root and batsman/wicketkeeper Bairstow will clearly boost Yorkshire as they look to go one better in this year’s 50-over competition.

The club were knocked out at the semi-final stage last year by Surrey at Headingley, and they were beaten by Durham in the semi-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast.

As usual, the availability of England players at the start of the summer is something of a mishmash.

Former Test captain Alastair Cook is available for all matches for newly-promoted Essex, as is batsman Haseeb Hameed for Lancashire and pace bowler Steven Finn for Middlesex.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad can play in two of the early Championship games for Lancashire and Notts, respectively.