Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale welcomes availability of England captain Joe Root

ANDREW GALE has been handed an early selection boost after being told he can call on England Test captain Joe Root for Yorkshire’s first two County Championship games of the 2019 season.

Monday, 11th March 2019, 3:37 pm
Updated Monday, 11th March 2019, 3:38 pm
UP FOR SELECTION: England Test captain Joe Root can play in Yorkshire's first two County Championship games of 2019. Picture: AP/Ricardo Mazalan

The batsman is set to face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge from April 5, where he is likely to come up against England team-mate Stuart Broad, and then Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl the following week.

Root scored centuries in Test and one-day cricket during England’s tour of the West Indies, which finished on Sunday night with a third successive T20 win.

Before leaving for the club’s pre-season tour of Potchesfroom in South Africa last Friday, Yorkshire first-team coach Gale had spoken of his hope of Root being made available during the early part of a season which brings both a World Cup and an Ashes Test series to these shores.

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SELECTION BOOST: Yorkshire CCC first-team coach, Andrew Gale. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

He admitted today that it was great news to have the availability of 28-year-old Root confirmed.

“I’m stating the obvious here, but to have the England lads back with us will be great,” said Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale.

“To have the England Test captain back in the group will make a big difference to our dressing room, especially given the fine form that he’s in.

“Joe talks a lot about rhythm, and he’s certainly got that at the moment. Clearly he want to continue that with us ahead of a huge summer of cricket for our national side, who have a World Cup on home soil and an Ashes series to look forward to.”

Yorkshire will be unable to call on the services of leg-spinner Adil Rashid due to a shoulder problem he picked up during the recent T20 series in the West Indies, although he has been pencilled in for a return to county colours with appearances in the first four Royal London one-day Cup matches between April 17 and 26, including the Roses clash with Lancashire at Emerald Headingley on Easter Sunday (April 21).

Jonny Bairstow and David Willey will not be available for the start of the domestic season after signing up for the Indian Premier League.