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Lancs get Hooper for Harbhajan

London: Carl Hooper will join Lancashire as a temporary overseas replacement for India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh after the English county were given a special dispensation following a meeting at Lordís here Tuesaday.

Hooper, who last played county cricket for Kent in 1998, could now make his Lancashire debut in the championship match against Essex at Old Trafford starting Wednesday. He is expected to remain with Lancashire until such time as the BCCI clears Harbhajan to play for the county.

Temporary replacements are normally permitted for players on international duty, not because they are injured. But as Harbhajanís finger injury happened while he was on international duty, during last month's one-day series in Bangladesh, the ECBís first-class forum relaxed the rule which states that replacement overseas players coming in because of an injury to a foreign player must then stay on for the remainder of the English season.

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