Yorkshire call Kirby

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The Independent Online

Two defeats in their opening two matches have left Yorkshire second from bottom of the County Championship First Division with Surrey, Lancashire and Leicestershire all unbeaten at the top of the table.

Yorkshire face Kent at Canterbury today and the Tykes cannot afford to lose any more ground on their title rivals after being embarrassed by Surrey in their opening match and last week's seven-wicket defeat.

Darren Gough still has a knee problem and Yorkshire will also be without the England pair, Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard, so Steven Kirby is drafted into the squad.

Kent will field the same XI that lost by eight wickets at Hampshire last time out, but could call on the former England all-rounder Mark Ealham, who has recovered from a broken knuckle and an ankle injury.

Lancashire have promoted John Wood and Gary Keedy into their 12-man squad for the visit of Sussex. With Andy Flintoff away on England duty, Wood and Keedy get their chance, with Tim Roberts missing out. Sussex will miss the paceman Paul Hutchinson, who is out for two weeks with shin problems.

Second-placed Leicestershire will start with the same XI who outplayed Warwickshire last week for their match against Somerset at Taunton. Somerset elevate Matthew Wood from 12th man to opener in the absence of England's Marcus Trescothick, while Graham Rose comes in for the England fast bowler Andy Caddick.

Ashley Giles is in the England squad, but will play for Warwickshire against Hampshire at Edgbaston if not needed at the Test. If Giles returns, Tony Frost or Neil Smith could make way.

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