Alastair Cook is set to begin his first-class season for Essex against Somerset after missing his club’s opening match of the campaign because of a sore hip.
The former Test captain was cleared by the England and Wales Cricket Board, along with several fellow centrally-contracted players, to start the summer last week.
Cook had to pull out of that match at home to Lancashire, but has been named by Essex in a 13-man squad to take on Somerset at Taunton in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship on Friday.
The 32-year-old opener tested his recovery, following injections to ease the injury, in the nets this week – and has been passed fit to be included in Essex’s plans and is therefore scheduled to play his first innings in first-class cricket since resigning as England’s Test captain two months ago.
Essex have also added all-rounder Ashar Zaidi to the line-up which battled hard for a draw against Lancashire.