Sporting Digest: Cricket

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MIKE WHITNEY, the former Australian Test bowler, announced his retirement yesterday, blaming a recurring knee injury for his decision. The 34-year-old left-arm paceman, who took 39 wickets in 12 Test matches, has missed virtually the entire season in Australia because of injury. He broke down with a knee injury playing for New South Wales in their opening fixture against the New Zealand tourists in October. Whitney, whose last appearance for Australia was against the West Indies in 1992, made an unsuccessful comeback attempt in Sydney club cricket two weeks ago.

THE former England and Yorkshire captain, Brian Close, 63, is expected to make a comeback this year with Scarborough in the Yorkshire League. He helped Scarborough win the Haig Trophy at Lord's in 1979 and now the club have asked him to return as skipper in some games.