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April 27, 2003 15:39 IST

Scotland are confident that Indian batsman Rahul Dravid will turn out for them by June 1. The Sots, who will be competing in the National League this season along with English counties, are depending on Dravid to give their campaign the boost and style required to make an impression in the one-day tournament.

They open against Durham on May 4 and hope that their Indian import, who has plenty of experience of English conditions, having played county cricket for Kent, will be available to play in the game against Hampshire on June 1.

"We are still waiting for Dravid to sign up but talks are at an advanced stage," skipper Craig Wright told the BBC.

Durham and England all-rounder Paul Collingwood has been ruled out  for a further two months after dislocating his left shoulder. Collingwood was injured when he dived to the ground to stop the ball during a one-day friendly against Lancashire at Old Trafford last week.

It was initially thought that the 26-year-old would be out for six weeks but he has been diagnosed with damage to a joint which will require keyhole surgery.

Collingwood is now facing a race to be fit for England's three-match NatWest Challenge against Pakistan in June, and the triangular series against Zimbabwe and South Africa which follows.

English captain Nasser Hussain says he wants to play 100 Tests, become his country's longest serving skipper and lead the team to more Test victories than anyone else before he retires.

"As for the first goal, I have played 81 Tests so far," Hussain, 35, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. "This summer we have two against Zimbabwe, then five against South Africa.

"This winter we may have as many as nine Tests; three in Sri Lanka, two in Bangladesh, four in the West Indies.

"That makes -- given selection and barring injury -- 97 Tests.

"In other words, I want to continue to play until the end of next summer", - when New Zealand and the West Indies are due to tour England, explained Hussain.

After England's first round exit at this year's World Cup in South Africa, Hussain announced his retirement from one-day international cricket, saying he no longer merited a place in the team.

"Stepping down as captain of the England one-day side obviously opens the door for a new leader, but I did that because I think the England one-day side will be better off without me, just as I think, at the moment, the Test side will be better off with me remaining in charge.

"Of course, if at any stage I feel the Test side will be better off without me I will again do the honourable thing."


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