Ian Bell will have ample chance to stake his claim for a recall having been made available for all cricket ahead of the First Test against West Indies by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The Warwickshire batsman, who lost his England place in all forms of the game on the recent tour of the Caribbean, will play in the season curtain-raiser for the MCC against champions Durham, starting on Thursday.
He will also have two County Championship games and a pair of Friends Provident Trophy matches to find form and attempt to dislodge Owais Shah, who is away playing in the Indian Premier League in the run-up to the first Test.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, another member of the MCC team, has also been made available for all cricket as he attempts to regain his place, as has paceman Steve Harmison.
Despite having a central contract, Vaughan has not played for England since resigning the captaincy last August.
Nottinghamshire bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Graeme Swann, who both left the tour of the Caribbean with injuries, are also available.
All of England’s stars – except IPL participants Shah, Ravi Bopara, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen – should have the opportunity for at least some county cricket before the first Test begins on May 6 at Lord’s.
Meanwhile, Robert Key’s claims to become England Twenty20 captain were enhanced when Andrew Strauss argued the best man for the job could come from the county ranks.
Strauss, England’s Test and one-day international captain, was omitted from a provisional 30-man squad for the World Twenty20 championship.
Strauss confirmed he is comfortable with the decision on the grounds that he believes he does not deserve a place in the team.
But it leaves the selectors searching for another captain and a new face would be England’s fifth across all forms of the game in the last 12 months.
Former captains Collingwood, Pietersen and Flintoff have all indicated an unwillingness to take the reins again.
Key has not played international cricket for four years but his limited-overs success with Kent has put him right in the frame – and Strauss believes the extra exposure county players have had thanks to Twenty20 cricket makes them an attractive choice.
“I think the fact some of the county guys have played more than the international players helps them,” said Strauss.
“Twenty20 is a very different format of the game and accordingly you need to plan for that format and don’t look past that when you come to decide the side.
“The rumours you hear on the county circuit is that Rob has done a pretty good job. He is a good operator and definitely one of the names on the list.
The Twenty20 captain will not be chosen until a new coach has been appointed – and Strauss urged the ECB to sort the situation as soon as possible.
Andy Flower, who was the stand-in coach in the Caribbean, is favourite for the role and Strauss believes the two work well together.
Strauss said: “I have had no involvement in the process apart from giving my thoughts on Andy Flower.
“I think he did an excellent job in the West Indies and we could work together.
“There will be other people who are just as qualified to do the job. The sooner the appointment is announced, the better.”