Yorkshire have key batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance available for the top-of-the-table LV= County Championship clash with Durham at Scarborough, which starts tomorrow.
Bairstow is set to play for a second straight game, having aided last week’s 10-wicket win over Nottinghamshire, and should be available for the rest of the season after being left out of England’s limited-overs squads to face Ireland and Australia.
In-form Ballance was today named in the one-day international party to play Ireland but, having returned from England Lions duty, is free to feature in this week’s match alongside Bairstow and New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson.
“It will be a tough selection,” said Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale, despite being without England duo Tim Bresnan and Joe Root.
“That is the beauty of having a talented squad with everyone playing their part. It will be a difficult decision to leave someone out. The pressure will be on the players to perform and try and retain their place in the team.”
All-rounder Ben Stokes, a member of England’s ODI squad, returns for Durham, who are again without seamer Graham Onions due to his broken finger.
Durham, second in Division One, trail Yorkshire by 25.5 points but have a game in hand and could close the gap to 1.5 points with the heaviest of wins at Scarborough.
Third-placed Middlesex, 7.5 points behind Durham from a match more, welcome back championship captain Chris Rogers for struggling Somerset’s visit to Lord’s.
Rogers has been absent throughout the Investec Ashes, during which he opened Australia’s batting. He will not be able to call on the services of Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan and Adam Voges this week given their involvement in the NatWest International T20s.
Somerset, second from bottom and two points behind seventh-placed Derbyshire from as many contests, are similarly missing Jos Buttler.
Sussex, who have the same points and games played as Middlesex, face holders Warwickshire at Edgbaston in a meeting of the fourth- and fifth-placed teams respectively. Warwickshire’s Boyd Rankin and Sussex’s Luke Wright are on England Twenty20 international duty.
Lancashire, Division Two leaders by 34 points from Northamptonshire, host Hampshire at Southport with the visitors needing victory to keep alive their faint promotion hopes. Hampshire are without Danny Briggs and Michael Carberry, but loan signing Matt Coles is immediately available to them.
Northants, 31 points clear of third-placed Essex from a match more, play Glamorgan at Wantage Road. The Welsh County are resting Michael Hogan, with fellow seamers Michael Reed and John Glover in line to replace him.
Essex face Gloucestershire, who are a point behind their opponents from a game more, at Bristol minus Ravi Bopara. In the other match bottom side Leicestershire meet Worcestershire at Grace Road.