Essex wanted Alastair Cook to play in Thursday's One-Day Cup quarter-final with Yorkshire but were told by the ECB that he was unavailable for selection, says Essex head coach Paul Grayson.
Opener Cook, 30, captained England to a 3-2 Ashes victory over Australia.
Jonny Bairstow and Adam Lyth will return from international duty for Yorkshire, but Cook will not feature.
"We appreciate he's had an intense time and they feel that it's best he has some time off," Grayson told BBC Essex.
Grayson added that if Cook had expressed an interest in playing, he would have been selected.
"If he'd made himself available we would have picked him and played him, but we've done well in this competition without him so we will carry on as normal," he continued.
"He is contracted by England, he's the captain and we're under their guidance."