Stuart Broad has failed in his bid to play in Nottinghamshire’s second match of the new Specsavers County Championship season.
The ECB announced in a press release on Wednesday morning that it has declined a request from Broad and his club to tweak the scheduled availability of centrally-contracted players.
They will stick to the timetable already published – which includes a rest this week for both Broad and his Test pace partner James Anderson after each started the campaign with Notts and Lancashire respectively.
Broad was hoping that the fact he bowled only 21 overs in his club’s three-day win over neighbours Leicestershire might bring a rethink, but both he and Anderson will have to wait before returning on April 21.
The ECB statement read: “The England management have declined a request from Nottinghamshire for Stuart Broad to play in their Division Two fixture at Durham.”
Neither Broad nor Anderson is likely to be required by England until the start of a seven-Test summer, at Lord’s in early July.
But ECB director Andrew Strauss said: “We have to recognise the demands of the international programme over the next 12 months, with seven Tests in 10 weeks from July followed by another seven in Australia and New Zealand over the winter.
“We have to manage all our players and especially our bowlers accordingly.
“Both Stuart and Jimmy are committed to their counties and keen to play as much as possible. But equally they recognise both the challenges and demands to come over the summer.
“A plan for availability for the early-season fixtures has been put together in consultation with the players, and counties were made aware of the likely schedule back in January.”
Strauss sees no compelling reason to change tack.
He added: “Stuart bowled 21 overs for Nottinghamshire at Leicestershire, and Jimmy bowled 42 for Lancashire at Essex, so it makes sense for us to stick to the original plan of them taking a week’s break before returning for the third round of Championship fixtures.
“They will also be available for further Championship matches as well as the early stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup.”
The ECB’s published plan includes a return for Essex’s former Test captain Alastair Cook against Somerset at Taunton on Friday.
But after the opener had to miss his county’s opening fixture at home to Lancashire because of a sore hip, it has yet to be confirmed whether he will be fit this week.