Counties' food for thought

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The Independent Online
Representatives of England's 18 first-class counties met at Lord's yesterday to discuss the blueprint for change to the domestic structure, unveiled by cricket authorities last month.

Several amendments, or counter-proposals, to the blueprint drawn up by the ECB chairman, Lord MacLaurin, and chief executive, Tim Lamb, are still possible but nothing was decided yesterday.

A Lord's spokesman said delegates were returning to their clubs to report back on the debate, the first opportunity for counties to go through the blueprint together. A vote to accept or reject the blueprint is scheduled for 15 September and some changes to the document could still be made in the next fortnight.

On the field, England's Phil Tufnell and Andy Caddick furthered their already strong claims for a place on England's winter tour to the Caribbean in front of the chairman of selectors, David Graveney, at Taunton yesterday.

The Middlesex spinner Tufnell took 4 for 53 as Somerset were bowled out for 241 in good batting conditions after winning the toss. Then Somerset's Caddick removed Jason Pooley and Mark Ramprakash for ducks before adding Mike Gatting in an eight-over spell of 3 for 25 as fifth-placed Middlesex closed on 80 for 3.

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