Double blow for Middlesex
Middlesex's plans for the 2004 season have been dealt a double blow with the news that Ashley Noffke and Anil Kumble won't be joining them in 2004.
Noffke will miss the entire season with a chronic back problem, having decided that he needs a complete rest to try and ease a long-standing complaint.
And that was followed by Middlesex's admission that their plans to sign Anil Kumble had been vetoed as the Indian board decided his international commitments were too great.
"We had sorted things out with Anil before Christmas but didn't announce his signing because we were awaiting clearance from the board, Vinny Codrington, Middlesex's secretary told the BBC. "It was disappointing that it became public knowledge before any permission was given ... but we perfectly understand the BCCI's and Anil's decision."