Having given the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 a miss as he is yet to recover from an injury, England international Jonny Bairstow wants to keep wicket for Yorkshire when he returns to action ahead of The Ashes.
Bairstow is out of action since breaking his leg on a golf course in September 2022. However, according to Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson, he is likely to be available for his county from the middle to the end of May.
Bairstow could be hoping to get back into the England team for the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston from June 16 in place of wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. However, it is not clear that England’s think tank wants him in the playing XI as a wicketkeeper, the Yorkshire officials said.
“Communication is the key and we haven’t heard anything from England yet, but I think Jonny has said he’d like to keep,” Darren Gough, Yorkshire’s managing director of cricket, was quoted as saying by Sky Sports in a report on its website.
“I think Jonny realises there is competition for places. He probably wants to give himself as many opportunities as he can. He’s a top player, he’s in a good place mentally with his game and he’s worked out where he wants to be and where he wants to go,” he said.
Gibson said they would be crazy not to accommodate a request from the England team management.
“I’ve had a conversation with [Bairstow] and the medical team, who’ve done a great job. He should be available to play games by the middle to end of May. He’s had a horrific injury but he’s tracking well.
“He’s running up and down and he can run in straight lines, but he’s not doing much lateral stuff yet. The medical team will let us know how far along he is, but he is expecting, when I’ve spoken to him, to be in a position to play in England’s first Test. That’s what he is aiming for,” he said.
In case Yorkshire want to include Bairstow, their regular wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall said he would be prepared to “step aside” to allow Bairstow to take the gloves.
He said: “I understand it’s a professional sport and Jonny is an international player. He is that for a reason and if he needs certain things to prepare for England, so be it. If that means I have to step aside to let Jonny take the gloves, that’s fine. If we’re winning games of cricket, to me it doesn’t matter,” he was quoted as saying in the report.