Alastair Cook: England captain to start first four Championship games for Essex

England captain Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook made only four in a warm-up game against Middlesex on Monday

England captain Alastair Cook has been made available for Essex's first four County Championship matches of 2016.

And the England and Wales Cricket Board have cleared fit-again fast bowler James Anderson, England's leading Test wicket taker, to play in newly promoted Lancashire's first three fixtures.

But only one of England's beaten World T20 team is in line to start the new Championship season this Sunday.

Surrey opener Jason Roy is available for the trip to Nottinghamshire.

Of the four Yorkshire players in England's team in Calcutta on Sunday, Joe Root has been allowed a rest and will miss the defending champions' first three matches.

But David Willey, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett will be available for their first fixture against Hampshire at Headingley, starting on Sunday 17 April, along with their other two England Test players Gary Ballance and current five-day wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

Ben Stokes is due to return to action for Durham on 24 April, for two matches against Middlesex and Surrey, while Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales will return the following week after missing his side's first two games.

England T20 captain Eoin Morgan and Lancashire wicket-keeper Jos Buttler will not feature at all in Championship cricket before England's next international fixture, the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting at Headingley on Thursday 19 May.

Of the two Championship Division Two players to feature in the heartbreaking defeat by the West Indies on Sunday, Moeen Ali will miss Worcestershire's first game at home to Kent, while Sussex's Chris Jordan is scheduled to reappear at the start of May.

Two more of England's T20 squad, James Vince and Liam Dawson, are cleared to play in Hampshire's season opener at Southampton against a Warwickshire team led by new county captain Ian Bell and also containing Chris Woakes, his new Bears deputy.

England player availability in County Championship

Division One

Durham - Mark Wood available from start of the season; Ben Stokes available for matches against Middlesex and Surrey.

Hampshire - Liam Dawson, James Vince available from start of the season; Reece Topley may be available for opening match against Warwickshire, then is available for second match against Yorkshire at Headingley.

Lancashire - James Anderson available for first three fixtures.

Middlesex - Nick Compton, Steven Finn available from start of the season.

Nottinghamshire - Samit Patel, James Taylor available from start of the season; Stuart Broad available for second match against Lancashire; Alex Hales available for third match against Yorkshire.

Surrey - Mark Footitt, Jason Roy available from start of the season.

Warwickshire - Chris Woakes available from start of the season.

Yorkshire - Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, David Willey available from the start of the season; Joe Root available for matches against Nottinghamshire and Surrey.

Division Two

Essex - Alastair Cook available for first four matches.

Sussex - Chris Jordan available from the start of May.

Worcestershire - Moeen Ali available for second, third and fourth Championship fixtures.

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