Ian Bell will take no part in Warwickshire's Championship match against Hampshire even if Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, concludes he is surplus to requirements at Lord's.
It has already been made clear that Bell is not in the first-choice XI for Thursday's first Test match against Sri Lanka, but the batsman is likely to remain with the squad as back-up until the game starts. If injury should befall any other batsman, or if England elect to go into the match without a spinner, Bell could yet play.
England and Wales Cricket Board regulations state that Bell could still be drafted into the Warwickshire side on Thursday, the third morning of their match against Hampshire. Yet Mark Greatbatch, the Warwickshire director if cricket, believes that a mid-match substitiution could cause disruption in the dressing-room.
"We hope he does play for England," Greatbatch told The Post. "But we don't know when that decision will be made. It could be on Thursday morning.
"Besides, we've named a team and we wouldn't want to disrupt that side. He will not be playing for us in this game."
That Bell would benefit more from batting than spectating is not in doubt. Typically, however, and not incorrectly, Fletcher is putting England first. Bell may have to wait a couple of weeks for his next first-class innings.
Bell is not in the best of form. He has been dismissed in the same fashion, caught in the crease neither forward nor back, often of late.
Yet suggestions from some areas of the media that he is a shy man ravaged by self-doubt are nonsense. He possessess a bedrock of self-confidence born of great talent and naturally sound technique. His confidence and his footwork will, no doubt, be fully restored by time at the crease and runs on the board. He is only 24 and has much good cricket in front of him.
So, too, has Ian Westwood. The young opener has struggled this season but proved last year that he has what it takes to prosper at county level. At his best, he is a compact, patient and well-organised accumulator - a hard man to dismiss.
At present, however, he has scored only 55 runs in five Championship innings. Too often, he has been drawn into playing away from his body and is shuffling around in the crease in a manner not dissimilar to Bell. Under different regimes, he would have been jettisoned.
Loyalty is a rare and precious commodity, however. If players are to thrive in the longer term, they need to feel they are in an environment where they will be supported and encouraged. They require continuity of selection and to feel the support and confidence of their captain and coach. Westwood, therefore, wins selection despite Mark Wagh's century for the Second XI.
Whether or not Greatbatch and Streak were correct to pick Westwood ahead of Wagh at the start of the season, they are surely right to stick by their decision. West-wood must know, however, that he has to repay their loyalty sooner, rather than later.
The downside of continuity of selection is that, once dropped, it can be a long haul back.
"We want to give Ian a good opportunity," Greatbatch said. "We don't want to be swapping and changing at this stage. He hasn't scored many runs yet, that's true, but we've played on a couple of interesting wickets and opening the batting has been hard work.
"Mark Wagh has done well. He's knocking on the door hard. We've asked him to go down to Southampton with the 2nd XI and carry on in the same vein."
Moeen Ali also misses out. His first Championship innings was a glorious prelude to what will surely be a long career but, for the moment, he has to bide his time.
"I sat down with Moeen and explained how we were thinking," Greatbatch said. "He batted well, but we actually picked him as a spinner. In this game, we want to play four seamers and Alex Loudon - England A's spinner - returns.
"Moeen misses out due to the balance of the side. We gave him an opportunity and he did very well. If he carries on doing that he'll be fine. One thing I hadn't realised about him is what an exceptional fielder he is. He'll be back."
Tim Groenewald will remain with the first team until the start of the match as cover. If no injuries occur during the warm-up or overnight, he will travel to Southampton to play in the Second XI Championship. Neil Carter and Tony Frost are fit and ready to return.
The poor early-season weather will not have helped with preparation of the Edgbaston pitch but Hampshire have a couple of bowlers who will prove effective in any conditions. Chris Tremlett, perhaps the most exciting fast-bowling talent in the country, may play as he returns from yet another injury while Shane Warne hardly requires any introduction.
There appears to be a certain element in the media that has an unhealthy obsession for Warne. Why a single man's sex life should make headline news is something of a mystery. Nor does it reflect well on us as a society.
It's also a shame if it detracts from his wondrous abilities as a cricketer. He is, without dispute, one of the greats of the game and his presence at Edgbaston this week should be celebrated and relished.
All those who question the quality of county cricket take note.