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he country's first Australian-style cricket academy is planned as part of an ambitious £15m "cricket village" by Hampshire. The county plan to move from their ground near the centre of Southampton to a 40- acre site on the edge of the city by the turn of the century.

Middlesex have signed a one-year sponsorship deal with Panasonic, which could be worth more than £120,000 depending on their success this season.

Paul Nixon could be out for up to six weeks after breaking his left index finger while batting for England A in the Tetley Bitter Shield match at Edgbaston against Warwickshire.

The Glamorgan captain, Hugh Morris, may miss Sunday's Benson and Hedges Cup opener against Essex after suffering a recurrence of back trouble scoring 125 against Oxford University on Tuesday.