Joe Root: England captain could play five County Championship games

Joe Root
Joe Root hit a century for Yorkshire against Nottinghamshire at the start of last season

Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale says he is "hopeful" that England captain Joe Root could appear in five County Championship matches this season.

The 29-year-old, who only played two four-day games in 2019, has no England commitments in April or May.

"He wants to come back and he wants to play. He likes playing, he doesn't like time off," Gale told BBC Radio Leeds' Cricket Show.

"He feels he's in good form now and he wants to continue that."

Yorkshire start their 2020 campaign on 12 April against Gloucestershire, with a trip to champions Essex the following week.

Root will be in Sri Lanka for the two-Test series, the second of which is scheduled to finish on 31 March.

England's first Test match of the summer against West Indies at The Oval begins on 4 June.

"I think he'd probably miss the first game but he wants to come back and he wants to play five matches before the first Test," Gale added.

'Bairstow's England career up in air'

Gale, who led Yorkshire to fifth in Division One last season, is unsure of whether he will also be able to call on wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

The 30-year-old was dropped from England's Test team in South Africa but is part of the side for the ongoing one-day series.

"We could potentially have him for one Championship game. His career with England is up in the air at the moment," Gale said.

"He might get a chance in Sri Lanka and dominate it as we know he can do. If he doesn't, then we will welcome him back with open arms. If he has a point to prove and he is doing that with Yorkshire then even better.

"We've had some text messages here and there but I'm leaving him to do what he needs to do.

"He's got a big series coming up and he's going out to the Indian Premier League - and he will want to do well there because there's a T20 World Cup at the end of the year and he'll be desperate to play in that."