Australia and India agree to abandon 'trust' pact

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The Independent Online

Australia and India have decided to abandon their agreement of trusting the word of fielders on contentious low catches for the rest of the Test series.

The teams agreed before the first Test that batsmen would accept the word of the fielder rather than refer them to the third umpire because the replays were almost always inconclusive. But the sides have dropped the agreement after a number of disputed catches in the Sydney Test, saying they would now leave the verdict to the umpires.

James Foster, Steve Kirby and Charlie Shreck have all been called up as replacements for the England Lions tour to India – but Andrew Flintoff will not be joining the tour and will instead continue his recovery from ankle surgery with Lancashire. Essex wicketkeeper Foster and seamers Kirby (Gloucestershire) and Shreck (Nottinghamshire) will join the tour because of injuries to Worcestershire pair Steven Davies and Kabir Ali. Wicketkeeper Davies has a knee injury, and all-rounder Kabir has an ankle problem.

England one-day international all-rounder Luke Wright has signed a new three-year contract with Sussex.

Durham have announced a notable double deal for the 2008 season with the re-signing of West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Australian veteran Michael di Venuto – the latter as a European Union employee courtesy of an Italian passport.

The Indian cricket board's official Twenty20 League (IPL) has secured a 10-year rights contract worth more than $1bn (£500m) ahead of its launch in April.

Sony Entertainment and the Asia-based World Sports Group are behind the deal. Television rights were worth $918m with another $100m bid for the league's promotion.