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Lancashire captain Smith to miss rest of the season

Lancashire captain Tom Smith has been ruled out for the rest of the season Credit: Granada

Lancashire captain Tom Smith has been ruled out for the remainder of the season through injury, the club have announced.

The 29-year-old all-rounder will undergo an operation on the back problem which has limited him to just one LV= County Championship match in 2015 and he will play no further part this term .

Cricket Director and head coach Ashley Giles said:

"This is a huge blow for Tom and for the club."

"As club captain, Tom remains a very important part of the team and our season, and we look forward to him being able to start the journey to play after the operation."

– Ashley Giles
Smith has only managed one County Championship game in 2015 Credit: Granada

Smith, who succeeded Glen Chapple as captain in February, added:

"It is frustrating that I won't be able to play again this season, but I will be in good hands with the medical staff at the club. I would like to thank everybody at the club for their support and I would like to wish the lads all the best for the rest of the season."

– Tom Smith, Lancashire Captain

Smith was named as Lancashire's Player of the Year in 2014 after taking 54 wickets and scoring 773 runs, although he was not able to save the club from relegation from Division One.

Lancashire are currently top of the Division Two table with six wins and just one defeat from 10 matches.

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Injured Buttler to be replaced by Bairstow in England team

Jos Buttler will be replaced by Jonny Bairstow in England's squad ahead of the fifth one-day international with New Zealand after the Lancashire man split the webbing on his left hand in practice on Friday morning.

Buttler has been in fine form with the bat Credit: PA Images

Less than 24 hours before the Royal London Series decider, Buttler had to leave practice at Emirates Durham to have protective bandage on the wound.

Despite having Kent gloveman Sam Billings in their ranks, England have opted for further cover behind the stumps by drafting in Yorkshireman Bairstow.

"Jonny Bairstow has been added to the squad as cover for Jos Buttler who has split the skin at the base of his thumb on his left hand," said England Cricket on Twitter.

The hosts will wait to see how Buttler's hand recovers before making a final decision on his participation on Saturday morning.

Buttler has been a key part of England's one-day international revival in the current series, hitting his country's second fastest-ever century (from 66 balls) in their national-record 408 for nine in the opening match at Edgbaston last week, having already set the record with a ton from 61 balls against Sri Lanka last year.

"Jos Buttler will be assessed in the morning," added England Cricket.

Lancashire county cricket club reveal bumper year

Lancashire county cricket club have announced a surplus of almost £800,000 for the year ending 2014.

The club say attendance was up 67% at T20 Blast fixtures. The club also raised £3.4million which will replace the Old Trafford Lodge with a four-star 150-bedroom hotel.

The club say 'appointment of Ashley Giles as Cricket Director/Head Coach and Tom Smith as the new captain, along with the acquisition of some exciting overseas players to work with talented youngsters coming out of the Academy, means that the ingredients are in place for a successful 2015 on the pitch.'

Lancashire paceman James Anderson equals Botham wickets record

Anderson equals Botham's record Credit: PA Pictures

Lancashire paceman James Anderson has equalled Sir Ian Botham as England's top Test wicket-taker after taking his 383rd scalp against the West Indies in Antigua.

Anderson, on the occasion of his 100th Test cap, had Marlon Samuels caught at gully by James Tredwell to share Botham's place in the history books.

The great all-rounder has stood alone as the nation's most prolific bowler for 23 years, but Anderson is now in position to set a new mark for future generations to follow.

Only 13 players in the history of the game have taken more wickets than 32-year-old Anderson, who began the odyssey with a five-for on debut in 2003.

The cricket season is back

Lancashire's cricket season gets underway this weekend. The Red Rose start with a trip to Derbyshire. Club captain Tom Smith says the club are seriously aiming for promotion this season.

Smith also told Granada Reports about playing with Andrew Flintoff, who he describes as a childhood hero. Flintoff has yet to confirm whether he will return to play for the Red Rose in the T20 Bash competition.

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Anderson hopes to toast success with his own beer

James Anderson is a doubt for England's tri-series opener against Australia in Sydney tomorrow as he recovers from a knee injury.

It's a minor setback for the Lancashire bowler as preparations continue for England's World Cup campaign in Australia and New Zealand next month.

Now before he flew off down under, Anderson celebrated his selection by launching his very own beer.

North West cricketers join Phil Hughes tribute

Cricket players from the North West have posted tributes and pictures of their cricket bats in a moving tribute to Australian player Phil Hughes.

Hughes, 25, died in hospital on Thursday, two days after suffering a fatal head injury when he was struck by a ball during a match in Sydney.

The #putoutyourbats hashtag began trending and Lancashire cricket players Freddie Flintoff, Jos Butler and Ashwell Prince have all paid tribute.

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