Yorkshire starts title defence without Gough, White

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 21:14 [IST]
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London: Defending English County Champion Yorkshire will be without England duo Darren Gough and Craig White for its opening match against First Division rivals Surrey at Headingley on Wednesday.

Fast bowler Gough is still battling against a knee injury while all-rounder White has a groin strain as does batsman Anthony McGrath. Surrey, champions in 1999 and 2000, wrapped up a 10 wicket win over last season's Second Division winners Sussex in its opening match on Monday. Yorkshire's Australian coach Wayne Clark said that Surrey would probably be the biggest threat to their hopes of retaining the title. "It's (Surrey) right up there for it. It is probably the strongest-looking team in the championship at the moment - its balance is very good. We've just got to go and try and do the same things as last year. We're not daunted but know we have to keep improving - it should be some match." Gough said he was disappointed not to be involved. "I'm bowling in the nets again but I won't be risked against Surrey because of my knee. It would be too soon for me, which is a real shame. "How we play against Surrey will set the tone for the rest of the season. In a way, it's a shame the game comes so early in proceedings but it will be a very interesting confrontation. "Surrey is a very good side, no doubt about it. It is always going to be strong with the squad they've got," he wrote in his 'Teletext' column. Meanwhile off the pitch police investigations into Yorkshire's finances are set to continue. Official accounts for last year show the club's shop and merchandise income had fallen from Pounds 32,422 ($ 47,011) to just Pounds 460. Detective Inspector Peter Ramsay, of West Yorkshire Police, told Tuesday's 'Yorkshire Post, "I can confirm we have received a report of certain financial irregularities and are looking into the matter. I can confirm the report came from the club," he added.

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