Sporting Digest: Cricket

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The Independent Online
Middlesex have confirmed Mark Ramprakash as their captain for next year. The England batsman, who will have Keith Brown as his vice- captain, took over from Mike Gatting as skipper last year.

The all-rounder Vince Wells, 32, has signed a new three-year contract with Leicestershire after topping 1,000 runs for the second successive season. The county have also been boosted by news that the West Indian Phil Simmons will be available for the first Championship match of 1998.

Paul Prichard has been reappointed for a fourth season as Essex captain in 1998.