Sussex sack Wells as captain

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The Independent Online
Alan Wells said last night that being sacked as Sussex captain had left him "with a bitter taste" in his mouth. Wells has paid for Sussex's lack of success by losing his job to the wicketkeeper Peter Moores next season.

It is 10 years since Sussex last won a trophy and Wells, 35, has been in charge for the last five seasons. They finished 12th in the County Championship last season, a modest three places higher than in 1995 and a poor run-in saw them lose five of their remaining six games.

"The way Sussex have handled the whole affair from start to finish has left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth,'' Wells said. ``They have treated me with a lack of respect.

"At this moment I don't know what my future holds but I am sure I have another five or six years left in me playing at the top level and if the phone rings I will be all ears."

Wells, who has been with Sussex since he was 17, revealed he had only been back from holiday in Barbados for half an hour when he was informed of his sacking on Monday by the vice-chairman, Alan Wadey.

Michael Vaughan was yesterday ruled out of the opening four-day match of the England A Australian tour against a New South Wales XI in Tamworth today after failing to recover from a back strain.

The Yorkshire opener was unfit for yesterday's practice in Sydney with the complaint and despite intensive treatment has been unable to overcome the problem in time.

Lancashire's Jason Gallian looks certain to open alongside Mark Butcher, of Surrey, in Vaughan's absence, but England are delaying naming their line-up until just before the start.

The spinner Peter Such was given an X-ray on his hand injury, sustained during yesterday's work-out, which confirmed his finger was only bruised and England are giving him as long as possible to recover.

Bob Cottam is in line to return to Warwickshire as bowling coach - six years after quitting as manager of the county when he criticised the committee and its chairman, Mike Smith.

But Warwickshire are also aware of the influence Cottam had in reviving their fortunes in the late 1980s and helping to lay the foundations for their all-conquering success in the first half of the 1990s.

Wasim Akram, the Pakistan captain, became the first bowler to take 300 wickets in one-day internationals during yesterday's three-wicket win over Zimbabwe in Quetta, Pakistan. Akram achieved the feat when he trapped David Houghton lbw with the fourth ball of the match, reaching the 300 mark from 208 limited-overs matches.

However, it was Salim Malik, with an unbeaten 72, who was the key figure in the home side's success in overhauling Zimbabwe's total of 237 for 9 in 50 overs on a difficult batting strip. Malik was named man of the match after facing 77 balls and hitting six fours and a six.

ENGLAND A SQUAD (v New South Wales, at Tamworth): *A J Hollioake, M A Butcher, J E R Gallian, W K Hegg, M A Ealham, C White, O A Shah, A McGrath, A F Giles, D W Headley, G Chapple, P M Such, A J Harris.