Surrey rebels make point and make up

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The Independent Online
DAVID LLEWELLYN

Peace broke out at Surrey last night after a motion by a rebel band, put to a Special General meeting of some 600 members at The Oval, was defeated by a total of 1,043 votes to 746 after one and a half hours of debate.

The motion called for the club to put its house in order on and off the field, but it had been pre-empted by the recent election of Mike Soper as chairman. He is a self-proclaimed Surrey fan and, after the result of the ballot, which included a proxy vote as well as a show of hands on the night, he said: "If we don't listen then we are idiots. I am staggered by the strength of feeling. We have had a very frank exchange of views."

Paul Ames, secretary of the Surrey Action Group, who instigated the SGM pronounced himself satisfied with the outcome and said: "This was a comprehensive victory for the spirit of the motion. I admire the chairman's integrity and I believe he is going to be a good chairman for Surrey."

Desmond Haynes said yesterday he had rejected playing offers from several English counties in favour of becoming first-team coach at Sussex.

The 39-year-old former West Indies captain and opening batsman, who moves to Hove on a three-year-contract, admits turning Sussex's fortunes around after nine years without a trophy is not going to be easy. "It's a big challenge for me and I will be trying my heart out,'' he said.

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