County Championship: ECB free five England players for duty with clubs

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Essex’s Tom Westley has so far scored 193 runs in five Tests for England, of which his best score of 59 came on his debut against South Africa at The Oval

Five England players have been released for duty with their clubs for this week’s County Championship fixtures.

In the week they could be crowned champions, Division One leaders Essex will have Tom Westley available for the trip to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire.

The Bears, who could be relegated this week, will have Chris Woakes back.

But Essex are not allowed to use ex-England captain Alastair Cook, while second-placed Lancashire go to Somerset without seam bowler James Anderson.

Surrey opener Mark Stoneman will be allowed to play against Yorkshire, while the England and Wales Cricket Board have also freed Middlesex paceman Toby Roland-Jones and Hampshire spinner Mason Crane to face each other at Uxbridge.

To claim their first county title since 1992 Essex must win at Edgbaston while hoping that Lancashire slip up at Taunton against relegation-threatened Somerset, who have lost injured duo Jamie Overton and Lewis Gregory.

Ashwin in at Worcester, but no Moeen

In the race for promotion from Division Two, second-placed Worcestershire, who would go top if they beat bottom club Leicestershire at New Road, are not allowed to use Moeen Ali.

He is not in the England T20 squad for Saturday’s meeting with West Indies at Chester-le-Street, but will resume training on Friday in preparation for the start of the five-match one-day international series on Tuesday, 19 September.

However, Worcestershire have now been told that they will have India’s Ravichandran Ashwin available for both of their final games, following speculation that the spinner might be recalled for a one-day series against Sri Lanka.

This week’s fixtures (12-15 September)

Division One: Warwickshire v Essex, Somerset v Lancashire, Middlesex v Hampshire, Surrey v Yorkshire

Division Two: Worcestershire v Leicestershire, Glamorgan v Northamptonshire, Sussex v Derbyshire, Gloucestershire v Kent

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