Blow for Yorkshire as Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow ruled out of County Championship title run-in

Joe Root
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Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will play no further part in Yorkshire’s ongoing bid for a third successive County Championship title.

The two-time reigning champions announced in a statement on their website that the England pair will not be made available to them in any of the final three rounds in Specsavers Division One.

Yorkshire, four points behind leaders Middlesex in second place, face a likely title decider against their London rivals at Lord’s in their last match of the season, from September 20-23.

Root - along with three other Yorkshire players, but not Bairstow - is in England’s squad for tomorrow’s NatWest Twenty20 against Pakistan at Old Trafford, and therefore could not have taken part in his club’s fixture at home to Durham this week.

Several Yorkshire players are in contention to be named in the one-day international squad due to fly to Bangladesh on September 29, and for the Test leg of the tour which starts in mid-October.

A Yorkshire statement read: “The Yorkshire County Cricket Club have been advised by the England and Wales Cricket Board that Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will not be available for the rest of the Specsavers County Championship season.

“A decision on the availability of David Willey, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett will be made after Wednesday’s NatWest IT20.”

Speaking ahead of the Durham clash, Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale said: “We must have one of the best home records in the country over the last few years. The title race is wide open, but the two games at home will be key.

“If we can win our next two, we’ll be right up there and hopefully get one over Middlesex.

“You want to avoid it going down to the last game if possible. It’s like a one-day game where you don’t want it going down to the last over.

“Given everything we’ve had thrown at us this year, the guys are coming into form at the right time now.”