Ealham leads Kent in wake of latest Fulton injury

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The Independent Online

Kent take on leaders Sussex at Tunbridge Wells in the County Championship First Division today without their captain, David Fulton, whose injury-plagued season took a turn for the worse when he broke a thumb against Lancashire. It was his first game back after a career-threatening eye injury.

Mark Ealham assumes leadership responsibilities in Fulton's absence, while the Australian Andrew Symonds makes his first Championship appearance of the summer following international commitments.

Kent have signed the Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami on a two-month contract as their second overseas player. The 22-year-old paceman will replace the Australian batsman Greg Blewett once Pakistan have played their three one-day internationals against England this month.

Andrew Flintoff is included in the Lancashire side for a second successive Championship match as his second-placed team take on Leicestershire in Liverpool. The all-rounder, overlooked by England due to a shoulder problem which prevents him bowling, will play solely as a batsman.

For the visitors, John Maunders makes his first four-day appearance of the season to form, with Virender Sehwag, a fifth different opening partnership in five games. Charlie Dagnall, David Masters, David Brignull and Matt Whiley will contest three seam-bowling berths.

Sussex's Tony Cottey has recovered from the back problem which kept him out of the defeat by Surrey. But Billy Taylor has failed to shake off a thigh strain sustained at The Oval.

Middlesex welcome back Abdul Razzaq, Ashley Noffke and Chad Keegan for the derby against Essex at Lord's. All were rested for the drawn tour match with Zimbabwe. The Essex captain, Ronnie Irani, has an injured knee.

Warwickshire's Kenyan leg-spinner Collins Obuya and Pakistan pace bowler Waqar Younis will line up together for the first time against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston. Nick Knight returns in place of captain Michael Powell, and Tony Frost continues behind the stumps in place of Keith Piper (thumb).

Darren Bicknell and Paul Franks were recalled for Nottinghamshire after being overlooked for the 268-run humbling by Essex.