Gale back to boost White Rose

Andrew Gale will make his return from injury when Yorkshire take on Division One’s bottom side Derbyshire in the LV= County Championship from tomorrow.

The White Rose captain was sidelined with a broken hand suffered during the Friends Life t20 tie against Lancashire at the start of this month but has been passed fit ahead of his side’s return to four-day action.

“I am delighted to be back,” said Gale.  “It has been a frustrating few weeks missing out on a couple of t20 matches, but the main thing is that I will be ready for the Derbyshire championship match and aiming to win it.”

Yorkshire are almost at full-strength for the encounter, with Moin Ashraf (back), Phil Jaques (abdominal strain), Steve Patterson (toe) and Azeem Rafiq (knee) all available for selection. Jaques and Rafiq returned to action in the shortest format, while Patterson and Ashraf came through a seconds game unscathed.

The quartet’s return leaves England trio Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan as the only absentees for the title-challengers.

Derbyshire, who remain without a victory in the championship this summer, are missing Shivnarine Chanderpaul after the veteran West Indies batsman picked up a hamstring injury in the t20 defeat to Lancashire on Friday. Peter Burgoyne and Ben Slater have been included in the home squad.

Leaders Sussex will look to extend their advantage over second-placed Durham as they welcome Middlesex to the County Ground.

The fourth-placed visitors are without a win in their last four championship games.

In Division Two, Essex are without Ravi Bopara as they return to four-day action with a home game against Leicestershire.

Bopara played as a specialist batsman in the FLt20 despite suffering from a side strain.

Essex are also without Mark Pettini due to a quad injury while Tom Westley’s broken finger keeps him sidelined.

Leicestershire are without their leading first-class wicket-taker in 2013 as Jigar Naik has been ruled out with a dislocated shoulder.

He joins seamers Robbie Williams and Matthew Hoggard on the sidelines, while Claude Henderson is unavailable as he is on coaching duty with South Africa. With resources stretched, slow left-armer James Sykes could be handed his maiden championship appearance.

Third-placed Worcestershire travel to Cheltenham to face Gloucestershire and will be hoping to close the gap on second-placed Northamptonshire.

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