Cook available for Lancashire game onwards


Alastair Cook will be available for Essex selection from Friday’s County Championship game against Lancashire onwards.

Dominic Bess and Joe Root are among the otherEngland players who have been made available to return to their counties.

Bess, the 20-year-old off-spinner who made his first two Test appearances against Pakistan, is free to play for Somerset against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday in the last round of matches in the South Group – a game which has been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports with Hampshire top of the group and aiming to clinch a home semi final, while Somerset are fourth and could still secure a play-off place.

Root has been made available for Yorkshire’s home game against Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Thursday – when they may also be in contention to qualify for the play-offs, depending on the result of the first Roses showdown of the season against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow (Tuesday).

If Yorkshire win that game, they will climb above the holders Notts Outlaws and Derbyshire Falcons into third ahead of the last round of matches in the North Group on Thursday.

Notts face Derbyshire in an East Midlands derby at Trent Bridge, but the Sky cameras will be at the West Midlands derby between Warwickshire and Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston – where the winners will secure a home semi final, and the losers will be in danger of missing out on the play-offs altogether.

Moeen Ali will again be available for Worcestershire before linking up with England’s one-day squad, but Warwickshire will be without Chris Woakes after he picked up an injury late in the Headingley Test.

Other players from England’s Test squad available for Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures this week are Mark Wood (Durham), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Middlesex) and Sam Curran (Surrey) – and Malan has also been made available to play for Middlesex in their Specsavers County Championship match against Leicestershire starting on June 20.

Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler will take a break before switching to one-day mode with England.

England are still to make a decision on the availability of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad between now and the start of the Specsavers Test Series against India in August, although neither will be available for the next round of Specsavers County Championship matches which starts on Saturday.

But Alastair Cook is available for Essex’s game against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.

The draw for the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup will be held at Edgbaston on Thursday night, after the Warwickshire-Worcestershire game.

As last year, the group winners will earn home advantage in the semi finals, which will be played on June 17 and 18, and both shown live on Sky.
Their opponents will be determined by play-offs between the second team from the North Group and the third from the South, and vice versa, on June 14 – with Sky to select one of those matches for live coverage.

The draw will determine which play-off winner travels to which group winner – and ahead of this week’s final group matches, 11 of the 18 counties are still in contention to stay on course for the Lord’s final on Saturday June 30.

Royal London One-Day Cup
Remaining fixtures (all matches 2pm; group tables here
Tuesday, North Group: Lancashire v Yorkshire Vikings
Wednesday, South Group: Essex Eagles v Kent Spitfires, Gloucestershire v Middlesex, Hampshire v Somerset (live on Sky Cricket), Surrey v Glamorgan.
Thursday, North Group: Leicestershire Foxes v Durham, Notts Outlaws v Derbyshire Falcons, Warwickshire v Worcestershire Rapids (live on Sky Cricket), Yorkshire Vikings v Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
June 14, Play-Offs: Second in North Group v Third in South Group, Second in South Group v Third in North Group.
June 17, 18, Semi Finals: North Group winner v Play-Off winner TBC; South Group winner v Play-Off winner TBC*
June 30, Final (Lord’s).
England Player Availability
Alastair Cook (Essex), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dominic Bess (Somerset) and Sam Curran (Surrey) – available for all cricket.
Mark Wood (Durham), Jason Roy, Tom Curran (both Surrey), Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan (both Middlesex), Alex Hales (Notts Outlaws), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire Rapids), Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, David Willey (all Yorkshire) – available for remaining Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures before joining England’s one-day squad.
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire) and Jos Buttler (Lancashire) – unavailable for this week’s Royal London matches before joining England’s one-day squad.
Dawid Malan (Middlesex) – available for Specsavers County Championship match at Leicester starting June 20.
Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire) and Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire) – availability TBC
Ben Stokes (Durham) and Chris Woakes (Warwickshire) – injured.