Harry Brook ready for Yorkshire’s big day after frustrating summer with England

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Yorkshire batter Harry Brook is relishing the chance to help his county win the Vitality Blast after enduring a frustrating summer with England.

The 23-year-old will captain the Vikings on Finals Day at Edgbaston – where they meet Roses rivals Lancashire in the semi-final – after being released from the one-day international squad.

It is a familiar story for him as despite being named in the majority of England squads this summer across all formats, he has only managed three T20 appearances against India.

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His release back to his county suggests he is not going to feature in Sunday’s decider against the Indians at Emirates Old Trafford, so he is grateful for the opportunity to play in the showpiece day of the county season.

“It is good for Yorkshire to have players back who have been around the England set-up and it is nice to be back for Finals Day,” he said.

“I have never been a part of it before so hopefully I can try and get us some silverware.

“It has been frustrating, but that is part of being in the England set-up, to work your way in you have to be around it.

“You’re not going to just get straight in, it would have been a lot harder if I hadn’t been allowed to come back and play for Yorkshire. Having a couple of months off and not playing any cricket would have been difficult.

“I am glad I have been allowed to leave the set-up and come and play some cricket.”

Brook made the journey on his own as Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Tykes captain David Willey were not made available by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“He’s (Willey) one of our best players and he’s also our captain so he won’t be leading us out there tomorrow,” Brook added.

“He is going to be a big miss, but with every miss comes an opportunity so hopefully one of the younger lads can step up and help us get a win.

“We’ve got a few players playing for England, but that’s what the big counties do, produce the best players. That is out of my control, who gets selected and we’d like them here, but that’s not to be.”

Lancashire are also robbed of two of their best batters in Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, but Matt Parkinson and Phil Salt have been allowed to leave the international squad.

Captain Dane Vilas is grateful for their return, saying: “The guys have been on fire for us in the Blast, they add great value to the team and hopefully they can perform. It is great to have them again.

“It would be nice to have the others back, they add a huge amount of batting to our team. Jos, the way he has been playing in the IPL and now for England has been incredible.

“We will miss him, every time he is in the team he adds a different dynamic. Livi’s all-round game would have been a huge asset for us. But we have lost players before in recent times and we have had to adapt.”

Somerset take on Hampshire in the other semi-final and they will not have Craig Overton available.

Captain Tom Abell does not believe the status of Finals Day – traditionally a stand-out occasion in the county calendar – has been dampened by so many top players being absent.

“I don’t think it feels diminished in any way,” he said. “It is a massive day in the domestic calendar. There are four really top quality sides capable of winning the competition.

“Everyone wants the England players available but that is not possible at the moment and I don’t think that detracts from the day.”

Hampshire captain James Vince has the luxury of a full squad available and he insists there is enough depth in the county game for it to remain a thrilling spectacle.

“A lot of teams have had England players dip in and out throughout the competition but the standard across the whole of the Blast is really high and is getting stronger and stronger with the way white-ball cricket is being played,” he said.

“You’ve got a number of people focusing on that format and putting all their efforts into that. Those players have certainly been improving. Ideally, you’d like to see all international players available for a day like that.

“There is still a hell of a lot of talent, seen by the England white-ball squads when people have filled in, Lions squads beating other national teams, there are a lot of good players in the country.”

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