Sporting Digest: Cricket

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The Independent Online
Andrew Bichel, the Australian pace bowler, has rejected a lucrative contract to play for Hampshire this season.

Mohammad Azharuddin has been retained as India's captain for the forthcoming Sharjah tournament against Australia and New Zealand on 17 to 24 April and the ICC Trophy, another one-day event, in Bangladesh later this year.

Russell Warren, the Northamptonshire batsman, will miss the start of the season with a wrist injury. The 26-year-old, who also keeps wicket for the county in one-day matches, is due to undergo surgery next week on cartilage damage to his left wrist.

Kent's Graham Cowdrey has announced that his benefit year in 1997 raised a county record total of pounds 303,000.

Sussex are hoping that their new Australian overseas player, Michael Bevan, will be making his debut sooner than expected. Their Director of Cricket Dave Gilbert originally announced that all-rounder Bevan's first game would be the Benson and Hedges Cup tie against Middlesex at Lords on 29 April. However, Sussex are now hopeful the 27-year-old will be available to play in the Sunday League game against Essex at Chelmsford three days earlier.

Cecil Paris, the former MCC president and Hampshire captain, has died aged 86.