THE QUEEN'S BATON RELAY - HERALDING THE 2014 COMMONWEALTH GAMES IN GLASGOW - HAS BEEN LAUNCHED AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE. THE BATON CONTAINS THE QUEEN'S HAND-WRITTEN MESSAGE TO THE COMMONWEALTH AND WILL VISIT ALL 70 COMPETING NATIONS AND TERRITORIES OVER THE NEXT 288 DAYS. IT WILL TRAVEL TO SCOTLAND ON THURSDAY BEFORE HEADING TO INDIA FOR ITS FIRST INTERNATIONAL STOPOVER ON 11 OCTOBER. THE BATON'S JOURNEY WILL END AT THE OPENING CEREMONY ON 23 JULY 2014, WHEN THE QUEEN WILL READ THE MESSAGE INSIDE.

HOT SPOT HAS BEEN DUMPED FOR THE NEXT ASHES SERIES, WHICH STARTS IN JUST SIX WEEKS.

THE REVIEW TECHNOLOGY CAUSED CONTROVERSY AND FRUSTRATION DURING THE ENGLISH SUMMER.

THAT UNCERTAINTY AND THE COST OF THE SERVICE - THOUGHT TO BE ABOUT TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A DAY - ARE BELIEVED TO BE BEHIND THE AXING.

THE FOUNDER OF HOT SPOT CONFIRMED IT WON;T BE USED. HE SAID IT CHANNEL NINE'S DECISION.

A CRICKET AUSTRALIA SPOKESMAN SAID IT WASN'T APPROPRIATE TO COMMENT ON BEHLF OF CHANNEL NINE.

COLLINGWOOD PREMIERSHIP PLAYER.. DALE THOMAS.. HAS AGREED TO A FOUR YEAR DEAL WITH CARLTON.. WHERE HE'LL BE RE-UNITED WITH HIS OLD COACH.. MICK MALTHOUSE.

26 YEAR-OLD THOMAS WAS HAMPERED BY ANKLE INJURIES THIS YEAR, AND PLAYED JUST FIVE GAMES.

BUT HE'S PLAYED MORE THAN A HUNDRED AND 50 GAMES FOR THE MAGPIES.. AND KICKED ONE HUNDRED AND 21 GOALS.

COLLINGWOOD ANNOUNCED IT WOULDN'T MATCH CARLTON'S OFFER TO THOMAS..

.. BUT IT EXPECTS TO RECEIVE A FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK IN COMPENSATION.

EUROPE CORRESPONDENT , PHILIP WILLIAMS , WAS THERE . SIR CHRISTOPHER HOY TOLD HIM GLASGOW WAS READY FOR THE GAMES. ##TAKE VT##

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