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The former Australia Test seamer Paul Reiffel was yesterday confirmed as captain of Victoria state for the new Sheffield Shield season, replacing Shane Warne. Victoria rejected last year's captain Warne, citing his unavailability because of international commitments.

The England under-19 all-rounders Giles Haywood and pace bowler Alex Edwards have been released by Sussex. New contracts have been offered to pace bowlers Billy Taylor, 22, and 19-year-old Melbourne-born Paul Havell. But Haywood, who made his first-class debut against Leicestershire in July, has failed to impress.