County champions Warwickshire have launched a bid to sign the England players Nick Compton and Jos Buttler from Somerset.
The pair are both out of contract at the end of the season and, with Somerset under threat of relegation, have put off making a decision on their future. Warwickshire have formally put in the 28 days' notice required to speak to the players.
Compton, who made two centuries for England in New Zealand last winter, lost his place before the Ashes series but is keen to prove the selectors were wrong to discard him and feels his interests would be best served by First Division cricket. He is currently playing for Somerset against Warwickshire at Taunton.
Buttler, England's one-day wicketkeeper, is frustrated at playing second fiddle at Taunton to Craig Kieswetter, who keeps in Championship cricket and was preferred in most of Somerset's Twenty20 matches.
Warwickshire, whose title defence has been weakened by international call-ups for Chris Woakes, Boyd Rankin, Chris Wright and Varun Chopra this season – in addition to the unavailability of Test regulars Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott – are keen to strengthen their squad, although signing two more players with international ambitions might be seen as questionable logic.
Batsman of the day
Wayne Madsen scored 105 of his 138 not out for Derbyshire against Middlesex on Tuesday, in doing so becoming the first batsman in the country to complete 1,000 runs in the 2013 Championship season, but the value of the innings was enhanced as Derbyshire claimed a potentially precious fourth batting point in their quest to avoid relegation after only one season back in the First Division. Madsen – who has scores of 141, 97, 62 not out and 138 not out in his last four Championship innings – anchored a stand of 66 with the fast bowler Tim Groenewald (49) to snatch the point in the 110th over.
Bowler of the day
Tim Murtagh reached 50 wickets for the season for Middlesex at Derby but the Irish seamer has been overtaken – along with fellow First Division bowlers, the Sussex duo of Steve Magoffin (49) and Chris Jordan (51) – at the head of the Championship's wicket-taking chart by Second Division Glamorgan's Michael Hogan. The seamer took 5 for 43 as Leicestershire were bowled out for 203 in Swansea, moving him on to 53 for the season.