ALASTAIR Cook has been in touch with Chris Silverwood in recent times, although the matter of the England captaincy has not been discussed.

Silverwood confirmed he had spoken to the current England captain about matters relating to Essex, but not about his ongoing situation at international level.

Speculation is rife that Cook may step down as skipper this week, after disappointing tours to Bangladesh and India, with Joe Root set to take over.

And Silverwood would not be drawn on the subject.

“I have had contact with him but I am nothing to do with that [the England captaincy],” he said. “It has been all to do with Essex and it is not my place to talk about what is happening with England.”

A number of other Essex players have also been busy lately, with several big hitters playing abroad over the holiday period.

Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara and Ashar Zaidi are competing in the Bangladesh Premier League, while Tom Westley has been impressing for England Lions.

Dan Lawrence has been excelling in Australia and young talents Paul Walter and Kishen Velani are also showing their ability further afield.

“We need these players to be fitter and stronger now we have moved up a division and they have been working hard on their fitness and skills,” he said.

“I am in constant communication with the guys we have playing abroad to make sure they are getting everything they need to be as successful as possible.

“All these guys are doing well and they are having the best possible experiences in the off season.”