LANCASHIRE have sold over 18,000 tickets for the Old Trafford Texaco Trophy International between England and South Africa on May 23.

The game looks certain to be a sell-out which would mean receipts topping £500,000, easily a record for a one-day international at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile Lancashire suffered more frustration as the poor weather continued to further delay the start of their championship match against Middlesex at Old Trafford with the second consecutive day abandoned today.

No play was possible on the scheduled first day yesterday, but at least that meant some good news for Mike Atherton.

The former England skipper would not have been able to play yesterday as he was still suffering from the back problem which flared up again in the nets at Hove on Tuesday afternoon.

But Lancashire were waiting for the weather to relent to give him another fitness check today before finalising their team.

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