England players have all been cleared to play for their counties in this week's domestic Twenty20 quarter-finals © Getty Images
England players have all been cleared to play for their counties in this week’s domestic Twenty20 quarter-finals © Getty Images

London: England captain Alastair Cook and fellow Ashes-winners Moeen Ali, Ian Bell and Jos Buttler have all been cleared to play for their counties in this week’s domestic Twenty20 quarter-finals, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Monday. The advent of an increasingly packed international programme and ECB central contracts mean leading England players are rarely sighted at county level now. But that could change this week, although it is their respective counties who will have the final say on whether Essex‘s Cook, Worcestershire‘s Ali, Warwickshire‘s Bell and Lancashire‘s Buttler take part in their respective last-eight Twenty20 clashes ahead of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval on August 20.

However, batting all-rounder Ali is set to feature for Worcestershire at home to Hampshire on Friday, with Buttler — a renowned limited overs batsman — likely to play for Lancashire away to Kent on Saturday as their respective teams aim to make it through to the last four, who will feature in the tournament’s finals day at Edgbaston on August 29. James Anderson feared Alastair Cook will quit as captain following severe criticism

“I’m really pleased that I can play in the Blast quarter-final at Worcester on Friday,” Ali wrote in his blog on ecb.co.uk. “We’ve never had a home quarter-final before, and it’s a great chance to get back to Edgbaston for finals day. I can’t wait to play again.” Amul has its say on Australia’s humiliation in Ashes 2015

Lancashire added: “CONFIRMED: @josbuttler is made available for @LancsCCC’s @NatWestT20Blast Quarter Finals against @kentcricket.” Experienced batsman Bell, now a five-time Ashes winner, could feature for Warwickshire on Thursday. Kevin Pietersen: Paul Farbrace and Trevor Bayliss deserve credit for Alastair Cook’s positive captaincy

Cook played for Essex against Surrey at The Oval in the group stages of the Twenty20 tournament in June, and he too could feature later this week. James Anderson, however, will not play for Lancashire on Saturday. Trent Bridge victory is yet to sink in, says Ben Stokes

England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker was named in the squad for the Ashes finale at The Oval but is still trying to regain fitness after the side strain which ruled him out of the innings and 78-run win over Australia at Trent Bridge last weekend, a victory that saw England take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series. Joe Root turns 12th man for brother Billy!

Twenty20 quarter-finals:

Wed Aug 12: Sussex v Northamptonshire

Thu Aug 13: Warwickshire v Essex

Fri Aug 14: Worcestershire v Hampshire

Sat Aug 15: Kent v Lancashire

Finals, Sat Aug 29: Edgbaston