Cook: England Test places up for grabs
England captain Alastair Cook has laid down a challenge to the batsmen around the country as the county season is set to start, saying there are still places for grabs in the Test side.
The Three Lions beat South Africa two-one away from home over the new year period and their next Test series starts next month at home to Sri Lanka.
Most English domestic sides play four County Championship matches before the first Sri Lanka Test and Cook says it is an opportunity for the players to show the national selectors their worth.
Cook said: "A lot of things aren't sorted. You win a series away from home against the number one team in the world (South Africa last December and January), but there’s still all to play for and I think that's where we're at as a Test side.
"The top order didn't perform as well as we would have liked in South Africa so there are places up for grabs. People in county cricket should be targeting these four weeks or so to put their name forward."
The Essex player also says the door is not closed for players that were previously dropped and had words of encouragement for the 33-year-old Ian Bell who was left out for the tour to South Africa.
Cook said: "I haven't spoken to Ian for a while but he's a hundred per cent still in the frame. I think he's quite enjoyed the break from the limelight.
"He knows how important early season runs are and he also knows his experience and record count in his favour. It's going to be an interesting few weeks."
Former Northants coach David Ripley appointed interim Ireland coach
Ireland have appointed Ripley on a three-month deal.
Big Ant Studios delay the release of Cricket 22 over Tim Paine sexting scandal
The official Ashes game will not drop until 2 December.
Leicestershire chair says cricket has been torn apart by racism crisis ahead of departure
Mehmooda Duke has left her role early.
Debutant Iyer guides India through the smog and peril from Black Caps bowlers
Shreyas Iyer struck an unbeaten 75 to put India in charge.
Broadcaster to review Ashes coverage plan that includes Michael Vaughan commentary
Vaughan, who has denied allegations of racism during his time with Yorkshire, will be commentating on the Fox Sports feed that BT planned to use.
Sri Lanka steamroll through West Indies to take first Test in Galle
West Indies threatened to resist but a post-lunch collapse did them in.
ECB all set to unveil a 12-point action plan on racism following Azeem Rafiq’s claims
The former bowler has made a series of allegations relating to his time in the game with Yorkshire.
Nathan Lyon: Australia should retain Tim Paine ‘as he is best keeper in the world’
The bowler said he can ‘100 per cent guarantee’ that Paine has ‘got the full support of the Australian change room’.
Wet weather ensures England’s Ashes warm-up match has to be abandoned
The first Test at the Gabba starts on December 8.
First Test: Sri Lanka vs West Indies – Day Five – Scorecard
Follow Sri Lanka vs West Indies.