Tom Westley is set to rejoin Essex in their quest for the Specsavers County Championship this week – and that means a likely encounter with England team-mate Chris Woakes in the televised game against Warwickshire that starts at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
Westley has been made available to Essex for their remaining three fixtures as they aim to become champions for the first time since 1992 – they have a third consecutive away match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl starting next Tuesday, before ending the season at home to Yorkshire from September 25.
Woakes is available for Warwickshire’s game against Essex, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Cricket, before linking up with the England squad for the Royal London One-Day Series against West Indies.
Alastair Cook, who has played in seven of Essex’s 11 Championship matches so far this season, will not play at Edgbaston as he takes a break following the Investec Test series.
Other England players available to return to their counties in this week’s round of Championship fixtures are Mark Stoneman, Toby Roland-Jones and Mason Crane. All three have been made available for the rest of the season, for Surrey, Middlesex and Hampshire respectively.
Dawid Malan will also be available for Middlesex’s last two fixtures, against Lancashire at Lord’s and Somerset in Taunton, although not for this week’s game against Hampshire in Uxbridge as he heads to Durham for the NatWest International T20 against West Indies next Saturday.
Similarly, Liam Dawson and Chris Jordan, who have also been selected for the T20 squad but not for the ODI series, will miss this week’s fixtures but are then available to return for Hampshire and Sussex respectively for the remaining two matches of the season.
Jimmy Anderson will take a break after his record-breaking achievements at Lord’s, and will not be available to play in any of Lancashire’s remaining three matches to allow him to begin a slow build-up to the Ashes tour. Lancashire will also lose Jos Buttler for their remaining three fixtures because of his inclusion in England’s T20 and ODI squads.
Stuart Broad’s availability to Nottinghamshire will be determined after the results of scans on the heel problem that affected him during the Lord’s Test, and the Division Two leaders will definitely lose Alex Hales and Jake Ball for their last two matches because of their inclusion in England’s T20 and one-day squads.
Yorkshire lose Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid and David Willey for their remaining three matches, as well as Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, while Surrey lose Tom Curran and Jason Roy.
Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali will take a week’s break before joining England’s one-day squad.
England player availability, September:
Essex – Tom Westley all remaining matches; Alastair Cook tbc.
Hampshire – Mason Crane all remaining matches; Liam Dawson the last 2 (v Essex and Warwickshire).
Lancashire – James Anderson, Jos Buttler unavailable.
Middlesex – Steven Finn, Toby Roland-Jones available all matches; Dawid Malan the last 2 (v Lancashire and Somerset); Eoin Morgan unavailable.
Surrey – Mark Stoneman available all matches; Tom Curran, Jason Roy unavailable.
Warwickshire – Chris Woakes available this week only (v Essex).
Yorkshire – Gary Ballance available all matches; Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, David Willey unavailable.
Durham – Keaton Jennings, Mark Wood available all matches; Ben Stokes unavailable.
Nottinghamshire – Jake Ball, Alex Hales unavailable; Stuart Broad tbc.
Sussex – Chris Jordan unavailable this week (v Derbyshire), available the last 2 (v Durham and Nottinghamshire).
Worcestershire – Moeen Ali unavailable.
Specsavers County Championship – this week’s fixtures
Division One: Middlesex v Hampshire, Somerset v Lancashire, Surrey v Yorkshire, Warwickshire v Essex.
Division Two: Glamorgan v Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire v Kent, Sussex v Derbyshire, Worcestershire v Leicestershire.