YORKSHIRE have received an enormous boost to their hopes of returning to Division One of the Vitality County Championship, with the news that Joe Root and Harry Brook will play five four-day games for the side in the coming months.

The pair are automatic picks for England in the Test arena, and will arguably be the best batsmen on show in either division all season.

Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson discussed the possibility of Brook being available for the start of the new red-ball season ahead of his side ongoing two-day clash with Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Headingley.

And it has now been confirmed that Brook, who has taken some time away from the game in the last few months to prioritise his mental health after the death of his grandmother, will line up in the middle order for Yorkshire in their first five County Championship Division Two games this year.

Root, unlike Brook, will miss the season opener at home to Leicestershire from April 5-8, but he will be in the Yorkshire side for their four-day game the following week, a trip to Gloucestershire.

That encounter marks the first of four red-ball games in a row where Yorkshire will have the pair in the line-up.

After that, they link up at Lord’s for an away game against Middlesex, while Root and Brook will also be part of the White Rose’s side for home fixtures against Derbyshire and Glamorgan.

They both miss the away match at Sussex from May 17-20, and while Brook will also be absent for Yorkshire’s final County Championship game before the side break off for their Vitality Blast fixtures, Root will be back to feature in his club’s four-day fixture at Northamptonshire from May 24-27.

Yorkshire have stressed that this is only the England pair’s early-season schedule, so it remains possible that they will play some T20 Blast or Metro Bank One-Day Cup fixtures, though that will all depend on their availability and/or international commitments.