England captain Alastair Cook will not turn out for his county side, Essex, as they push to win promotion to Division One of the County Championship with three games remaining in the season.
Cook will instead spend his time preparing for the November start of the Ashes in Australia coming just three months after the 28-year-old led England to a 3-0 home Ashes victory.
It is the first time since 1974/75 that back-to-back Ashes series are being played, a move taken to avoid England having a five-month tour of one country in 2015 when Australia are hosting the World Cup.
As a result, Cook felt that he should focus on his England duties after scoring 277 runs at an average of 27.7 during the summer's series.
"We're counting Cookey out - he's resting his body for the Ashes," Essex head coach Paul Grayson said.
"If he was going to play some cricket I guess he'd be playing for England in the 50-over series."
There had been hope that Cook may be able to turn out for third-place Essex in their final Division Two County Championship against Hampshire.
Grayson's side begin their game against Kent on Wednesday at Canterbury where a maximum-point victory would close the gap to second-place Northamptonshire to just five points.
"We've played good cricket of late," Grayson told BBC Essex.
"We know if we can have a good four days and win this match against Kent we could be six or seven points behind Northants with two games to go.
"There's plenty to play for and the players are very aware of that."
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