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Brooks and Ballance boost Yorkshire

Division One leaders Yorkshire welcome back Jack Brooks and Gary Ballance for the LV= County Championship visit of Surrey, who are set to feature fit-again Kevin Pietersen at Headingley tomorrow.

Fast bowler Brooks, pictured, returns to the squad after a scan revealed that his thumb injury has fully healed while middle-order batsman Ballance, who played in today’s Yorkshire Bank 40 Duckworth/Lewis defeat of Middlesex Panthers, has recovered from a virus. Both missed the Tykes’ last championship outing, a 10-wicket win over Middlesex at Lord’s that put them top.

Ballance, who has been selected for the NatWest International T20s against New Zealand starting on Tuesday, will play the first two days of the Surrey game before joining up with England. He will be replaced by batsman Jack Leaning.

Yorkshire must do without Phil Jaques due to an abdominal strain as well as England Champions Trophy squad members Jonny Bairstow, Tim Bresnan and Joe Root.

Seventh-placed Surrey include England batsman Pietersen, who has not played for three months due to a knee injury, in their squad but are missing Jade Dernbach, who is in England’s T20 party. Fellow seamer Matthew Dunn is named in a championship squad for the first time this year, ahead of Surrey's first action since Chris Adams was sacked as team director.

Somerset have Craig Kieswetter and Alfonso Thomas back from injury for the basement clash with Derbyshire at Derby, but are without England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler.

Bottom side Derbyshire were in YB40 action today, although their match at Derby was washed out after 9.3 overs.

In the Division Two contest starting tomorrow, fifth-placed Essex may respond to last week’s humiliation versus Lancashire with several changes when they play Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Nick Browne, Tom Craddock, Mark Pettini and Tim Phillips come into the squad after the innings-and-105-run loss in which they were routed for 20. Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara remain on England duty.

Rock-bottom Leicestershire have named fit-again Shiv Thakor and Matthew Hoggard in their party. They are included alongside Josh Cobb and the XI that drew with Northants last week.

Robbie Williams is still out with an elbow injury but batsman Matthew Boyce, who captained the side against Northants, is expected to be available despite missing Wednesday’s YB40 fixture against Glamorgan due to sickness.

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