Yorkshire have been boosted by the availability of England Test captain Joe Root for Thursday’s opening Vitality Blast clash with Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley.
Root has asked the England management to allow him to get some game time in T20 cricket, a format he is not an automatic choice for in international cricket.
He will face the Outlaws in front of the Sky Sports cameras (6.35pm) before a decision will be made on further availability. Though coach Andrew Gale admits anything is a “bonus”.
Root, who has played in five of England’s six summer Tests – the last of which finishes today against Pakistan in Southampton, will help compensate for the absence of some other big names.
New Vikings captain David Willey, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid are all on England duty for the three-match Pakistan T20 series at Old Trafford.
“We’re going to have Joe back for Thursday,” confirmed Gale after the washed out Roses four-day Bob Willis Trophy game with Lancashire this morning.
“I spoke to Rooty last night, and he’s chomping at the bit.
“He’s got a point to prove not being in the England T20 set-up, which is a good thing for us.
“I’m not quite sure how many games he will play.
“He’s definitely going to play on Thursday. England are making a selection on the Australian T20 series on Sunday night. So he might play on Sunday (Derbyshire at home) and Monday (Notts away) as well. Everything’s a bit up in the air.
“I just see anything as a bonus because we didn’t expect to have him at all.”
Yorkshire’s squad have taken advantage of the early four-day abandonment to hone their T20 skills indoors at Headingley today.
Gale has a number of other availability issues to contend with following injury and a heavy schedule of four Bob Willis Trophy games in as many weeks.
He added: “We’re still waiting on the fitness of Matthew Fisher (abdominal tear). That will be touch and go for the first game. Ben Coad (oblique tear), who I’d like to feature at some stage, we’re looking more towards next week than this.
“Duanne Olivier will probably need a rest after playing three four-day games in a row.”