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Return of England stars gives Yorkshire coach Gale selection boost

Yorkshire's first-team coach Andrew Gale (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com).
Yorkshire's first-team coach Andrew Gale (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com).
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YORKSHIRE hope to have their full complement of England players back for their forthcoming double-header against Lancashire.

Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett, David Willey and Adil Rashid could all play in Friday’s T20 match at Old Trafford.

And all apart from white-ball specialist Rashid could also feature in the subsequent County Championship game at Old Trafford that starts on Sunday.

After watching his side beat Worcestershire in the T20 at New Road, Yorkshire’s first-team coach Andrew Gale said: “We’ll maybe have five England lads coming back for the T20 and everyone apart from Rashid available for the Championship game. I just need to get confirmation from (national selector) Ed Smith and (coach) Trevor Bayliss.

“Rooty rang me while we were fielding (against Worcestershire) and said that he’s available for Friday, and we’ll just have to find out about Jonny.

“Liam, Dave and Rash are available for the rest of the T20 tournament, and I would imagine that Rooty and Jonny will also play in the Championship game as they’re going into a Test series (against India starting on August 1).

“It means that there’s a few lads who will miss out next week who probably don’t deserve to miss out, but, when you’ve got your international players coming back, that’s the way it is at Yorkshire.

“We’ve also got Kane Williamson (the New Zealand overseas batsman) available from Friday onwards, and he’s absolutely itching to go.”

In the absence of their international stars, Yorkshire have achieved their stated aim of starting the T20 tournament strongly.

Three wins from four games means they are already odds-on to qualify for the knockout stages as they chase their first T20 trophy.

“We’ve had a strong start to the tournament,” said Gale. “I felt coming out of the 50-over comp that we had some good momentum, and our younger lads have taken their chance.

“We can’t just rely on our England players to come in and start winning us games, but it will certainly be good to have them back. They’re in good form, which is the main thing, and hopefully they’ll slot in and do a good job.”

Gale was pleased with this latest win, saying: “I thought at the halfway stage we might have been 10 runs short, but taking pace off the ball when we bowled was key and we also took some outstanding catches.”