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August 24, 2012
Report : England stay top as rain ruins opening ODI
Preview : English Twenty20 needs big finish
Matches: Hampshire v Somerset at Cardiff | Sussex v Yorkshire at Cardiff | England v South Africa at Cardiff
Tim Bresnan will be available for Yorkshire on Twenty20 Finals Day in Cardiff on Saturday after the England management reversed their decision to make him unavailable because of concerns about his workload.
Bresnan had an inactive day watching the rain that wrecked the opening ODI between England and South Africa at the Swalec Stadium and, with Finals Day scheduled for the same ground, a few miles to the hotel and back again were not about to risk travel exhaustion.
Bresnan's involvement if the FLt20 Finals Day stretches into Sunday's reserve day - a forecast of sunshine and showers makes that a possible outcome - would not be determined by England until Saturday evening, as they insist that preparation for the next ODI, at West End on Tuesday, takes precedence.
Fatigue should not be an issue for Bresnan. He missed the final Test at Lords and has bowled only 387 overs since the start of April. He would also only bowl a maximum of eight overs for Yorkshire on Finals Day.
England's initial refusal to make Bresnan available stunned Yorkshire, who had assumed that availability would not be an issue on a day that has become the highlight of the domestic season and that the availability of all international players would be treated equally.
If Bresnan is withdrawn at any stage over the weekend on England's orders, Rich Pyrah would be likely to deputise. All other England players involved in the ODI series would be automatically available if Finals Day extended into Sunday.
The Cardiff washout, meanwhile, has led to Ravi Bopara being made available for Essex's CB40 match against Middlesex on Monday. Bopara has been in need of match practice after time off for personal reasons and made a guest appearance for Gloucestershire against the South Africans on Wednesday.
For the likes of Craig Kieswetter, considering an England ODI one minute, a domestic finals day the next, adjustment has to come almost instantly. While IPL surfs along on permanent hype, England's T20 Finals Day is crammed into an England-dominated programme.
"It's probably not ideal," Kieswetter said. "I think a lot of the counties would prefer to see Twenty20 in a block and then move on with the rest of the season. It is no hidden fact that our schedule is pretty hectic. It would probably the most ideal set-up to have it as a block and get it done and finished with."
Somerset have lost in the last three finals, but their achievement in getting to the semi-finals of the Champions League last year has helped to dispel the feeling of perennial bridesmaids.
"I think it has gotten past the stage of being an issue for us," Kieswetter said. "It is just another finals day. Hopefully we can get over that finals hurdle."
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