Afridi adds fiery spark

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The Independent Online

Shahid Afridi will make his CricInfo County Championship debut today as Leicestershire take on Glamorgan in Cardiff.

The explosive Pakistan all-rounder, who has played 11 Tests and 131 one-day internationals, joined the county last week after the Australian Daniel Marsh was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Afridi made his first appearance for the county in last week's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy tie at Nottinghamshire but has since been to New York to play in a double-wicket competition. He returns in time for the First Division trip to Sophia Gardens.

Leicestershire will hope to put some distance between themselves and Glamorgan with victory in the Welsh capital. Trevor Ward is back in their squad for the trip but James Ormond is left behind with a niggly hamstring. For the Welshmen, Simon Jones continues to fill in for the injured Alex Wharf.

Essex must again make do without their Australian, Stuart Law, for their encounter with Kent at Southend.

Law has a chipped bone in his hand and suffered another blow during last week's one-day clash with Warwickshire. Kent have concerns of their own with theircaptain, Matthew Fleming, requiring a test to determine the severity of his side strain.

The champions, Surrey, must field a completely different top four from the one that guided them to Benson & Hedges Cup glory on Saturday as they tackle winless Northamptonshire. Mark Butcher, Ian Ward, Mark Ramprakash and Alec Stewart are all required by England allowing Michael Carberry, Nadeem Shahid, Gary Butcher and Jonathan Batty to play.

In the Second Division, Sussex travel to Durham looking for their fifth win in six games.

Mark Robinson returns after overcoming a back strain but Durham are without the key bowling trio Simon Brown, Neil Killeen and Nicky Phillips.

* An Indian court refused bail to the former all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar, who was arrested this month in connection with a financial scam in which investors allege they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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