Cricket: Kumble to grace county game again

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LEICESTERSHIRE HAVE signed the Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble as their overseas player for next season to replace the Australian fast bowler, Michael Kasprowicz.

It will be the 28-year-old's second experience of the County Championship after a successful spell with Northamptonshire in 1995 when he became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in a season since the introduction of four-day cricket in 1993. He took 105 at an average of 20.4.

Leicestershire are losing the England left-arm fast bowler Alan Mullally after 10 years and Hampshire are emerging as the favourites to sign him.

Mullally could be followed out of Grace Road by the wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, who is also out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to agree a new deal.

Darren Bicknell is to leave the new champions, Surrey, to re-establish his career. The elder brother of the county's opening bowler, Martin, has not been able to gain a regular place in the side this summer, even though the opening batsman has scored two centuries - against Somerset and Sussex - in his limited appearances.

Yorkshire could spring a surprise by becoming the only side to beat Surrey this season. They closed the third day, on which saw 21 wickets fell, 79 runs ahead with four second-innings wickets in hand in a low-scoring game at The Oval.

Graham Thorpe's unbeaten 58 from 63 balls for Surrey was easily the best innings of the game, so far, as Surrey followed the visitors' 115 with 128 before Yorkshire closed on 92 for 6. Carl Greenidge, son of West Indies legend Gordon, returned Championship debut figures of 5 for 60.

Derbyshire left the field to a torrent of abuse from their members only hours after they had qualified for the First Division of next season's Championship.

What should have been a day of celebration for the club turned sour when Dominic Cork's team fed Hampshire, who must win to play in the First Division one, cheap runs to set up a declaration with a day and a half of the game remaining.