Mark Wood undergoes surgery to tackle 'impingement issue' in right elbow
Rob Key named England's new managing director of men's cricket
James Anderson on England dropping: 'I've stopped trying to make sense of it'
Where next for England now that Joe Root has resigned the Test captaincy?
Saqib Mahmood turned down IPL offer to 'push red-ball credentials' with England
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The pair bowled at Lancashire training this morning and, as centrally contracted players, were cleared by the ECB to play in the Division One fixture starting at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday.
The ECB also made Stuart Broad available for selection by Nottinghamshire, with the club due to announce their squad tomorrow to travel to Durham, although the Daily Mail, for whom Broad is a columnist, reported that he would delay his first outing of the domestic season for another week, targeting Notts' subsequent three fixtures at Trent Bridge and Lord's. Both grounds are venues for the opening Test series of the English summer, against New Zealand, with Broad hoping to make his return to the England side then.
Broad and Anderson were high-profile omissions from England's ill-fated Test tour of the Caribbean last month, with the visitors losing 1-0 to compound the fallout from their 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia.
England's interim managing director of men's cricket, Andrew Strauss, had said the West Indies trip represented an opportunity for other seamers to take on leadership roles in the absence of the vastly experienced duo, but two of those players - Mark Wood and Chris Woakes - have been sidelined by injury. Wood underwent elbow surgery after breaking down during the first Test and is out of action until at least May, while, according to the Mail, Woakes is expected to return for Warwickshire next month amid a setback after returning from the Caribbean with knee and shoulder complaints.
Following England's performance against West Indies, Joe Root resigned as Test captain last week, and Rob Key was appointed to take over permanently from Strauss, who only intended to fill the role short-term. England are yet to name Root's replacement, and employ a head coach to replace the sacked Chris Silverwood but, before his resignation, Root stated publicly that Anderson and Broad had a route back into the England team, starting with early-season wickets in the County Championship.
Anderson said a week ago that he had had no contact with anyone in the England set-up since his omission, other than the physiotherapist, and Broad wrote in his weekend newspaper column that he had given no thought to suggestions he could take over as Test captain "because firstly I am not currently in possession of a shirt within the England Test team and my focus is very much on changing that by taking wickets for Nottinghamshire over the next few weeks".
"In fact, I would argue we are in a fairly unique position as far as selection for the Test team goes right now in that there are only two players whose names you could write in pen on the scorecard," Broad added. "One of them is Joe Root, the other is Ben Stokes - and one of them isn't going to be captain for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2 because he has just given the job away."
Mahmood recently revealed he had turned down an offer to become a replacement overseas player in the IPL to push his Test credentials by playing in the Championship, having made his debut on the Caribbean tour. He was rested for Lancashire's 10-wicket win at Kent last week.
Ollie Robinson, who was part of England's West Indies touring party but didn't play because of a back problem, is not available for Sussex in this week's Division Two game at Worcestershire due to illness, which is not Covid-related.
Meanwhile, West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach has flown home after scans confirmed he had suffered a hamstring injury during the second day of Surrey's innings win over Hampshire on Friday. Roach had been due to play in Surrey's first five red-ball matches.
"I'm gutted that my time at Surrey has come to an end due to a slight injury but I want to thank the whole Surrey family for the love and care they have shown," Roach said on Twitter.