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England issue apology after county mix-up

Yorkshire say the ECB have apologised for a "misunderstanding" over the domestic availability of three ODI pacemen

England have issued an apology to county side Yorkshire after a "mistake" from the national governing body saw three fast-bowlers recalled from a domestic one-day match at the last minute.

The England and Wales Cricket Board in March announced the likes of Yorkshire's David Willey and Liam Plunkett, and Durham's Mark Wood would be available for a 50-over match between those two sides at Headingley on Wednesday.

But the ECB yesterday issued a statement saying the pace bowlers in line to play in England's first ODI against Ireland - including that trio - would be rested for Friday's match, forcing the two teams to find replacements with little warning.

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Test captain Joe Root, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, along with Australian Peter Handscomb, are all playing in the match which begun on Wednesday evening (AEST).

"England have been in touch with us and explained that they've reassessed the situation," Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon told the Yorkshire Post

"They've held their hands up and apologised and said that they've probably made a mistake on this, in that it's been a bit of an oversight when the original email (regarding player availability) was sent out (in March). We've accepted that and we move on. 

"The good news is that all our England lads are being allowed to play next week, which we hadn't been expecting and is a big bonus.

"I think there'd been a little bit of misunderstanding from the England side of things as to the logistics of today's (Wednesday's) games."

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England director of cricket and former Test captain Andrew Strauss said in Tuesday's ECB statement that managing player availability was a challenge considering the congested cricketing calendar.

"This was always going to be a difficult summer in terms of managing the workload on our England players, with such a hectic schedule including the Champions Trophy as well as seven Tests, followed by an equally busy winter in Australia and New Zealan," Strauss explained.

"We appreciate all of this causes disruption for counties and frustration for their supporters, and we are grateful to them for seeing the big picture in appreciating the need for us to ensure that key players remain in the best possible condition for the challenges ahead."

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Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale last month expressed his frustration at Bairstow being rested from the early stages of the domestic summer.

Despite having played just three days of cricket for the entire year, the Test gloveman wasn't made available for the opening rounds of the County Championship. He has since played in three matches for Yorkshire in recent weeks.

"I can see why someone like 'Rooty' would want a rest given the amount of cricket he's played," said Gale in reference to new Test captain Root. 

"But Jonny has played one one-day international since Christmas. I think he's played three days of cricket.

"For me, he should have been available right from the first game of the season. He had enough time off from the end of the West Indies trip. I felt he should have been available."

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Moxon stressed Yorkshire's relationship with the ECB remained strong, citing recent communication with Strauss and head coach Trevor Bayliss.

Australia Test legend Shane Warne last month labelled England's decision to force a fit Stuart Broad to miss a County Championship match "a joke".

"I reckon that's a joke – they've got to play," Warne said of the ECB's call to rest Broad from a four-day game against Durham.

 "The only way bowlers get better is to find their rhythm early (in the season). 

"So if they want to play, then play. I can't believe Broady's been told not to. Worry about the rest of the summer later.

"It is cotton-wool stuff and the player is going to get the hump. You want a happy player. Get him playing."

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