Cricket: Yorkshire debate overseas signing

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The Independent Online
SPLITS in Yorkshire's committee are nothing new but the current argument is: does the club go for a batsman or a bowler as the replacement, if needed, for Sachin Tendulkar as the overseas professional for next year.

The cricket sub-committee, upon which the former England bowlers, Bob Appleyard and Brian Close, are influential voices, have always preferred a bowler, hence the original signing of Craig McDermott. Another faction, led by Geoffrey Boycott, prefer a batsman, hence the original target of Dean Jones. On the one side the favoured replacement is the Pakistani fast bowler, Aqib Javed. Yorkshire were also interested in Wasim Akram before Lancashire re-signed him and are also waiting with interest to see if Surrey revise Waqar Younis's contract.

Wasim is reported to have re- signed for Lancashire for four years at pounds 50,000 a year and Yorkshire, I understand, would be prepared to exceed that sum if Waqar became available.

Salim Malik and Richie Richardson head the list of batsmen. Any of the named players fulfil Yorkshire TV's requirement, for the continuation of their sponsorship, that the overseas professional must be of international stature, a condition that rules out several West Indian and South African bowlers.

Ideally a majority of the Yorkshire committee would like to hear that India have called off their proposed tour of Sri Lanka next July- August, which would then allow the club to re-sign Tendulkar.

England Under-19s, 1 for 3 at one stage, recovered to be 285 all out in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley yesterday. Matthew Walker, Matthew Windows, with 68 apiece, and Robert Rollins (86 not out) led the recovery. Sri Lanka were 58 for 2 in reply at the close.