Cricket: Notts join the chase for Warne

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire will have to wait at least another month to discover whether they have won the race to sign Shane Warne as their overseas player for next season.

The Australian leg-spinner has now received a firm offer from Nottinghamshire to add to an approach he has had from Sussex. Trent Bridge officials declared their interest in signing Warne in June, when he announced that he would consider playing county cricket next season.

Nottinghamshire held talks with Warne's manager, Austin Robertson, on the eve of the final test at The Oval last week. The county's cricket committee chairman, Stuart Foster, said: "Our offer is now on the table. We feel it's a very good one but we will now have to wait and see. It was made clear that an announcement about his future won't be made until late September."

The Australian Cricket Board is to continue to campaign for the urn containing the Ashes to be released under a proposal to keep it in the country which won the most recent series. However, the ACB chief executive, Mal Speed, said he thought it "unlikely" that it would be successful.

"I think it would be great if we could have the Ashes in Australia," Speed said. "If we did get them here, I think it's fair to say that they will be here for some time.

"I also think it's unlikely that they will come to Australia. But the board, through its chairman Denis Rogers, will be approaching the MCC to ask that the Ashes be released in the next day or so."

Chris Rea, a spokesman for the MCC, said: "The fact of the matter is the Ashes are not a trophy to be played for like the Calcutta Cup. Legally, they are the MCC's private property. They were given to the MCC as a gift and not as a trophy to be played for."