Middlesex have ruled out signing a replacement for captain Adam Voges after he was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Voges, who picked up a minor hamstring injury while playing for Australia in their recent tour of Sri Lanka, was due to play in the final County Championship matches, starting with the fixture against Warwickshire on Wednesday.
However, Cricket Australia have insisted he rest up in Perth to fully recover and have stopped him returning to Middlesex.
Voges scored 388 runs at an average of 77.6 in six County Championship appearances at the start of the season, but won’t be replaced as Middlesex place their faith in the squad which has taken them to the top of the Division One table.
“We have decided to go with what we have,” said Angus Fraser, Middlesex’s managing director of cricket.
“The players who have got us into this position deserve the chance to take us forward over the next few weeks.
“We have a lot of good players, and also a particularly good group of young cricketers.
“This is where we would have wanted to be at this stage of the season, but talk of the title is for supporters and the media – for now, all we are thinking about is the first half-hour of the match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston next Wednesday.”
Middlesex’s players have had a fortnight’s rest since their thumping of Durham was concluded late on 15 August, with a number of players – including stand-in skipper James Franklin – taking the opportunity to go away for a short holiday.
Fraser said: “We have had cricket on in every week since mid-April and I think the longest period of rest we have had before this one was only about three or four days.
“It’s been quite relentless, so it was nice to be able to give a number of players some time off.”