Cricket: Worcestershire run in second to rivals: Warwickshire celebrate Sunday League honours as Rhodes sparks in vain

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The Independent Online
WORCESTERSHIRE must be cursing the very existence of Warwickshire. But for the remarkable proficiency of their less than neighbourly rivals, after all, Tim Curtis and company would themselves have pulled off that trophy treble. Instead, yesterday's 26- run win over Durham merely confirmed them as the bridesmaid's bridesmaids.

By finishing second to Warwickshire in the Sunday League, Worcestershire repeated their performance in the Benson and Hedges Cup, although the NatWest Trophy did bring a reversal of fortunes. Not since the domestic game began featuring three limited-overs competitions in 1972 have two counties so dominated one season.

Fittingly, that human spark plug, Steve Rhodes, recharged the home batteries at New Road, an unbeaten 46 from 38 balls lifting Worcestershire to 172 for 7, whereupon three wickets apiece for Phil Newport and Neal Radford restricted the visitors to 146.

South Africa have decided not to retain Mike Procter as coach, electing instead to redefine the position and reduce the public relations element. Ali Bacher, the United Cricket Board's managing director, acknowledged that South Africa's success 'over the past few hectic and emotional years has been in no small measure due to Mike Procter'. The UCB Executive, however, now wants 'a highly qualified technical coach'.

Having done more than any other Australian batsman recently to douse England's Ashes hopes, David Boon will bring his remarkably consistent bat here next summer when he joins Gloucestershire on a one-year contract, replacing Courtney Walsh as the club's overseas player.

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