Harry Brook set to return for start of Yorkshire’s County Championship campaign

England batter Harry Brook is set to be available for the beginning of Yorkshire’s Vitality County Championship campaign, according to White Rose head coach Ottis Gibson.

Brook withdrew from England’s Test tour of India in January due to personal reasons and, following the death of his grandmother Pauline last month, he pulled out of a stint with Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League to be close to his family.

He has signalled to Yorkshire he is ready to resume his playing career, though, and Gibson is hopeful Brook will make his comeback for their Division Two opener against Leicestershire, starting on April 5.

Harry Brook has not played competitively this year (Martin Rickett/PA)
Harry Brook has not played competitively this year (Martin Rickett/PA)

Brook, who has not played any competitive cricket this year, could feature in a handful of matches in the championship before linking up with England ahead of their T20 World Cup title defence in June.

“Now that Brooky isn’t going to the IPL, I suspect he’s going to be available to us for the first few games, including Leicestershire,” Gibson said in quotes on Yorkshire’s website. “He loves playing for us.”

Gibson suggested Yorkshire’s prospects could be enhanced further in the early rounds by the availability of Joe Root, who like Brook excused himself from this year’s IPL.

“Rooty is also going to be available for some games in that early period,” Gibson added. “Having those two playing for us would be special.”

England, meanwhile, have slipped to the bottom of the World Test Championship standings after Sri Lanka completed a 328-run thrashing of Bangladesh inside four days in Sylhet.

Joe Root could also be available for Yorkshire in the early season (Mike Egerton/PA)
Joe Root could also be available for Yorkshire in the early season (Mike Egerton/PA)

Although England have prevailed in three of their 10 Tests with Sri Lanka gaining a first triumph in three fixtures in the 2023-25 cycle, teams are ranked according to the percentage of points won.

Hindering England’s progress was a 19-point deduction for slow over-rates in four of last year’s five Ashes Test in a thrilling series which finished 2-2. England have just been beaten 4-1 in India.

Had that not been applied, England, third in the International Cricket Council Test rankings behind India and Australia, would sit in fifth place in the the nine-team World Test Championship.

Ben Stokes’ side have a dozen matches remaining before the final at Lord’s in June 2025, starting with three-Test series at home against both the West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer and winter tours to Pakistan and New Zealand before the year is out.

England have failed to reach the final in either of the first two editions, finishing fourth in the 2021-23 cycle – having languished at the bottom of the table for a period before the appointment of Stokes as captain and Brendon McCullum as head coach led to a turnaround in results.