- Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves goes to bat for four-day Tests
• Interest in long-form game waning worldwide • ‘Personally, I think we should look at four-day Test cricket’ • ECB document proposes fewer Tests and new T20 event The incoming England & Wales Cricket Board chairman, Colin Graves, has confirmed he will push for the introduction of four-day Test matches in a bid to reverse dwindling global interest in the format. While attendances in England will inevitably be strong during this Ashes summer, there are growing fears that less attractive opposition might fail to pull in the crowds. It follows a worldwide trend that has seen audiences for Test cricket lag behind the 20- and 50-over forms of the game. Related: Australia back thirtysomethings for Ashes in bid to keep winning run going Related: Mitchell Starc shines brightest among the new generation of stars | The Spin Continue reading... Colin Graves was chairman of Yorkshire during the poorly-attended Test between England and Sri Lanka last year, which attracted just 2,500 for the decisive fifth day. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesColin Graves was chairman of Yorkshire during the poorly-attended Test between England and Sri Lanka last year, which attracted just 2,500 for the decisive fifth day. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
- Australia back thirtysomethings for Ashes in bid to keep winning run going
• Debutant Adam Voges, 35, and Fawad Ahmed, 33 among touring party • England squad for West Indies tour has average age of only 28 • Voges’ Australia call-up gives Middlesex a headache Less than an hour after Michael Clarke had lifted the World Cup above his head on Sunday amid a blizzard of golden ticker tape, the tractor engines at the Melbourne Cricket Ground were chugging into life, poised to remove the drop-in cricket pitches and ready the playing surface for Australian Rules football. The MCG has had only four days to prepare for Carlton versus Richmond on Thursday night, the curtain-raiser to the AFL season and for the 200-plus ground staff and contractors working on the stadium’s transformation, every second counts. Related: Adam Voges’ Ashes call-up gives Middlesex a headache Continue reading... Adam Voges scored 1,358 runs at an average of 104.46 for Western Australia this season. Photograph: Robert Prezioso/Getty ImagesAdam Voges scored 1,358 runs at an average of 104.46 for Western Australia this season. Photograph: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images
- New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum signs for Birmingham Bears for T20 Blast
• McCullum to join Birmingham Bears for their final seven matches • New Zealand captain will arrive after country’s tour of England ends • Read Andy Bull’s latest edition of The Spin • New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori confirms international retirement Birmingham Bears have pulled off a major coup for the NatWest T20 Blast with the signing of the New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. The champions will be able to call on the services of the powerful 33-year-old batsman for their final seven matches of this year’s competition. Continue reading... Brendon McCullum, who guided New Zealand to the World Cup final, has signed to play for the Birmingham Bears in the coming season. Photograph: David Rowland/APBrendon McCullum, who guided New Zealand to the World Cup final, has signed to play for the Birmingham Bears in the coming season. Photograph: David Rowland/AP
- Mitchell Starc shines brightest among the new generation of stars | The Spin
As one generation of great players stepped back at the World Cup, another, younger set stepped up with the Australian left-armer leading the way • In pictures: the best images from the Cricket World Cup 2015 • Vic Marks: Forget David, Australia’s Goliaths are worthy winners • Writers’ awards: From the best player to the most thrilling moment and match First, a yorker. Just like Mitchell Starc had planned when he was talking tactics with his bowling coach, Craig McDermott. It came out well, 90mph, pitching in line with off stump, swinging in. Brendon McCullum threw a drive at it, and was beaten on the inside. The ball slid by just wide of the stumps. Moments earlier, while McCullum was marking his guard, Brad Haddin had asked him: “Are you still going to have a crack today?” McCullum turned, told him: “Too right I am.” In that mood, McCullum looks to play what he calls his “money shots”. He wants to get inside the ball, hit it “through and over point and cover”. He says he is “hoping the bowler will make a mistake” so he can “pick up a few cheap runs”. Starc knew that, knew too that if he did err, and McCullum did connect a couple of times, Australia would soon lose control of the early overs, and possibly of the innings too. This contest wouldn’t settle the World Cup final, but it would shape it. Related: New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum signs for Birmingham Bears for T20 Blast Related: Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves goes to bat for four-day Tests Related: Australia back thirtysomethings for Ashes in bid to keep winning run going Continue reading... Mitchell Starc finished the World Cup as the No1 ranked bowler in ODI cricket, and the player of the tournament, with 22 wickets at an average of 10.18. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/REXMitchell Starc finished the World Cup as the No1 ranked bowler in ODI cricket, and the player of the tournament, with 22 wickets at an average of 10.18. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/REX
- Henry Blofeld commentates on the 2010 Grand National: ‘This is exciting!’
The Test Match Special commentator attempted to apply his colourful cricket-calling skills to a rerun of the 2010 Grand National, with fascinating results … • Talking Horses: Tuesday’s best bets plus the latest racing news • Horse racing tips: Tuesday 31 March Every little boy or girl who ever developed a taste for horse racing has, at some stage, commentated on the Grand National, even if it was only in the privacy of their own interior monologue. And yet, in the race’s 170-odd years, there has probably only been one person who felt it appropriate, as the leaders rounded the elbow, to describe the action with the words: “My goodness me, this is exciting!” As cricket fans may already suspect, the speaker is Henry Blofeld, who has a cherished place in that sport’s lore, having been a regular on Test Match Special since 1972. And now, at the age of 75, he faces one of the more challenging assignments of his career, having been asked to set aside all thought of bouncers and googlies and silly mid-off in favour of Becher’s and geldings and stewards’ inquiries; in short, to provide a commentary for the Grand National. Continue reading... Tony McCoy celebrates victory in the 2010 Grand National riding Don't Push It, the race which Henry Blofeld tried his hand at calling. Photograph: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty ImagesTony McCoy celebrates victory in the 2010 Grand National riding Don't Push It, the race which Henry Blofeld tried his hand at calling. Photograph: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images
- Adam Voges’ Ashes call-up gives Middlesex a headache
• Club needs to find a new overseas player • ‘This leaves us with a difficult problem’ • Australia select Fawad Ahmed for Ashes Middlesex have been given a headache with the call-up of Adam Voges to Australia’s Ashes squad . The new season starts at Lord’s on 12 April with the visit of Nottinghamshire in the County Championship and Middlesex now need to find a new overseas player to replace their departing 35-year-old captain. Continue reading... Adam Voges gets set for the summer with Western Australia in the drawn Sheffield Shield final against Victoria. Photograph: Robert Prezioso/Getty ImagesAdam Voges gets set for the summer with Western Australia in the drawn Sheffield Shield final against Victoria. Photograph: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images
- New Zealand's Daniel Vettori confirms retirement from international cricket
Spinner calls time as New Zealand’s most capped Test and one-day player World Cup final defeat to Australia proves to be Kiwi’s last game New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori confirmed what many expected in announcing his retirement from international cricket upon the team’s return from the World Cup. The 36-year-old former captain had been widely expected to retire from international cricket at the conclusion of New Zealand’s involvement in the tournament. Continue reading... Daniel Vettori was expected to make the announcement after bowing out of the World Cup on Sunday.
- Ashes 2015: Australia's squad selection a nod to consistency and reliability | Russell Jackson
Australia’s squad for the upcoming tours of the Caribbean and UK appears to have been selected with the kind of conservatism that has reaped rewards in the past Common sense is the central theme to emerge from the naming of Australia’s Test squads to tour the West Indies and England this coming Australian winter. In come veteran Western Australian batsman Adam Voges and Victorian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed on the back of 1,358-run and 48-wicket Sheffield Shield seasons, respectively. Their selections, like that of Chris Rogers before them, show that lessons out of the Argus review period have been heeded. Consistency, reliability and weight of numbers, old-fashioned values that have served Australia well in recent times, have again won out over potential or succession-planning. Voges and Ahmed’s performances, said national selector Rod Marsh, “just couldn’t be ignored”. Related: Ashes 2015: Australia select Fawad Ahmed, overlook Glenn Maxwell Continue reading... Adam Voges’s excellent Sheffield Shield form has been rewarded with a call-up to the touring squad.
- Ashes 2015: Australia select Fawad Ahmed, overlook Glenn Maxwell
Leg spinner and batsman included in 17-man party Maxwell misses out despite World Cup performances Pounding Cricket World Cup hangovers may only have just abated but already Australian selectors have turned their focus to the next item on a busy agenda with the announcement of their squad to travel to the Caribbean to face West Indies and then on to England and Wales where they will dispute the 2015 Ashes series. Leg spinner Fawad Ahmed was given the nod ahead of Ashton Agar as Australia’s second spinner alongside Nathan Lyon, while in-form batsman Adam Voges was rewarded for a stellar Sheffield Shield campaign with a spot in captain Michael Clarke’s travelling party. Continue reading... Fawad Ahmed has been rewarded for his Sheffield Shield efforts this season with a place on the plane to the Caribbean and the UK.
- Alec Stewart: Kevin Pietersen ‘outstanding’ but England return unlikely
• Surrey director of cricket praises 34-year-old batsman • ‘He’s been as good as gold with us … he has been outstanding’ Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, has praised Kevin Pietersen’s “outstanding” character but admitted the batsman’s chances of an England return are slim. Pietersen has rejoined Surrey to play in County Championship Division Two in an effort to win a Test recall for the Ashes this summer. The 34-year-old was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board after the 2013-14 Ashes whitewash but Stewart revealed he has never had any problems with his attitude. Continue reading... Alec Stewart said if Kevin Pietersen was a bad character, Surrey wouldn't have had him. Photograph: Matthew Impey/RexAlec Stewart said if Kevin Pietersen was a bad character, Surrey wouldn't have had him. Photograph: Matthew Impey/Rex
- Hampshire sign former West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards
• Fidel Edwards to arrive Hampshire in late July • ‘It’s an honour to follow Malcolm Marshall and Gordon Greenidge’ • County cricket fixtures Hampshire have signed the former West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards for the second half of the season. Edwards will be registered as a Kolpak player and will arrive in late July. He will be available for all formats. The 33-year-old from Barbados has played 55 Tests, 50 one-day internationals and 20 Twenty20 games for West Indies, taking 241 wickets across all formats with a Test best of seven for 87 against New Zealand in 2008. Continue reading... Fidel Edwards, pictured celebrating a six-wicket haul against England, will join Hampshire in late July. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty ImagesFidel Edwards, pictured celebrating a six-wicket haul against England, will join Hampshire in late July. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
- Cricket World Cup was excellent showcase but care needed for future | Mike Selvey
Australia were deserved winners but plans to tinker with format for 2019 risk folly of excluding associate nations • OBO: Australia win 2015 Cricket World Cup • Match report: New Zealand survive Mitchell Starc menace After six weeks and 49 matches, the best team won the World Cup, which generally ought to be the idea of a global tournament in any sport. If it was a six-week marathon, beginning in Christchurch and Melbourne on Valentine’s Day, then those who always saw Australia as having the all-round playing strength in depth, including a battery of pace bowlers unmatched anywhere, to overcome anyone when it really came down to it, were merely vindicated and those who thought otherwise just dreamers. Brendon McCullum and his New Zealand team have been the most superb ambassadors not only for their country but for the game of cricket but in the end it was a bridge too far. They were outgunned, happily conceded as much, and no disgrace in that. Continue reading... Australia's captain Michael Clarke with the World Cup after beating New Zealand in the final in Melbourne. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesAustralia's captain Michael Clarke with the World Cup after beating New Zealand in the final in Melbourne. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
- Cricket World Cup 2015: the best images from the tournament
After 44 days and 49 games between 14 teams, the 2015 Cricket World Cup is finally over with Australia defeating co-hosts New Zealand to take the title. Over the course of the tournament the picture desk has received tens of thousands of images, here are 25 of the best Continue reading...
- ICC president Mustafa Kamal threatens to reveal ‘mischievous things’
• Kamal: I will let the whole world know what’s happening in ICC • ICC slams its own president for criticising umpire at World Cup The International Cricket Council president, Mustafa Kamal, has threatened to reveal details of “mischievous things” he claims are taking place at the world governing body. Kamal did not, as many expected and prescribed in ICC protocol, take part in the presentation ceremony after Australia beat New Zealand in Melbourne on Sunday to win their fifth World Cup. Continue reading... Australia were presented with the World Cup trophy by Narayanaswami Srinivasan but protocol dictated it should have been the ICC president, Mustafa Kamal. Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty ImagesAustralia were presented with the World Cup trophy by Narayanaswami Srinivasan but protocol dictated it should have been the ICC president, Mustafa Kamal. Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
- Cricket World Cup 2015: writers’ awards | Guardian cricket writers
From the best player to the most thrilling moment and match, our cricket writers reflect on what they most enjoyed at the 2015 tournament • Australia steamroller New Zealand to win final in style • Vic Marks: Forget David, Australia’s Goliaths are worthy winners • Russell Jackson: Clarke signs off with elegance and composure Mike Selvey Brendon McCullum. It would be easy to pick a batsman such as Kumar Sangakkara or AB de Villiers; or a bowler like Mitchell Starc or Trent Boult. But McCullum has inspired not just his team but a nation to a level that had to be experienced to be appreciated. He is a captain of tactical genius, sets an inspirational example in the field, and in the semi final his assault on the finest fast bowler of his generation reduced a difficult target to a manageable one. Continue reading... New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori dismissed Marlon Samuels.Fans look on during the 2015 Cricket World Cup semi final match between New Zealand and South Africa.Will Alex Hales be let off the leash at the next Cricket World Cup?Clockwise from top: India fans brought passion to the tournament, Mitchell Starc was inspired for Australia, the Associates entertained again while New Zealand produced thrilling cricket. Photograph: Getty Images/Reuters/AP/PAClockwise from top: India fans brought passion to the tournament, Mitchell Starc was inspired for Australia, the Associates entertained again while New Zealand produced thrilling cricket. Photograph: Getty Images/Reuters/AP/PA
- Cricket World Cup 2015 podcast: Australia v New Zealand – the final reckoning
The team discuss Australia's comprehensive victory over New Zealand in the final before offering their thoughts on how the tournament could have been improved and suggesting a best XI from the past seven weeks Continue reading... 140x84 trailpic for Cricket World Cup: Australia delighted with fantastic win against New Zealand – video
- Just three Australia players in New Zealand-dominated best World Cup XI
Starc, Smith and Maxwell represent world champions in team Beaten finalists Guptill, McCullum, Anderson, Vettori and Boult chosen Champions Australia have only three players included in the ICC’s team of the World Cup, which contains five New Zealanders. Paceman Mitchell Starc, batsman Steve Smith and allrounder Glenn Maxwell were the only Australians to make the side, despite their team claiming the World Cup after a one-sided seven-wicket thrashing of co-hosts New Zealand in Sunday’s final. Continue reading... Steve Smith hit the winning runs for Australia in the final at the MCG.
- Michael Clarke's team continue Cricket World Cup celebrations: 'It's the Australian way'
After toasting their Cricket World Cup success all night long, the Australian team continued the party at a public fan event in Melbourne After a night of rejoicing in their World Cup win, the Australian cricket team continued to celebrate with a few thousand fans at Federation Square in Melbourne on Monday. Following repeated questions from journalists about how good winning feels, the players – mostly sporting dark glasses – wandered into the crowd, signing autographs and posing for photos. Aust has won the World Cup after 6 weeks of hard work & people are banging on that I asked the players about a drink to celebrate ? Please Continue reading... Australia all-rounder Shane Watson obliges a fan with a selfie at the celebrations the day after their Cricket World Cup victory.
- Australia win plaudits for excellence throughout Cricket World Cup
Commentators full of praise for the victorious Michael Clarke and his team, with just a few gripes directed at former great Shane Warne’s interviewing technique Australia’s cricket team, led by Michael Clarke in his final one-day international match, have been lauded as deserved winners of the 2015 edition of the World Cup, with cricket media in virtually universal agreement that the best team of the tournament lifted the trophy at the MCG on Sunday night. Clarke bowed out of ODI cricket with a handy knock of 74 as Australia were crowned world champions for a fifth time at the conclusion of the six-week long tournament – one that arrived at a far from ideal time for the co-hosts, given the difficult period they endured in the wake of Phillip Hughes’s death. Congrats @MClarke23 for getting to #CWC15 . I put my hand up, I thought he was no chance after surgery. But he got there - as said he would. Weird to think I felt a bit sorry for Michael Clarke during 2013 Ashes tour. Handled himself so well then, deserves this now A summer which started with the tragedy of Philip Hughes ends with the triumph of a World Cup win. Well played Aussies. #CWC15Final Australia coped with the pressure very impressively. Deserved to win in front of their own record crowd, congrats! Well played Australia you were the best team by far and your wins from the quarterfinals onwards were clinical and showed your superiority! Unfortunately not the result the country was hoping for, but the @BLACKCAPS have still made us all incredibly proud over the past six weeks. The runners-up are seldom recalled years later, but I have a feeling this #NZ team will be. Mostly because of how they played. #CWC15Final Been so impressed by the way the Black Caps go about things. Cracking leadership from McCullum and such good sportsmanship... #CWC15 Even in defeat Brendon McCullum takes plaudits for sheer class. What a great ambassador for his country. Do gooders get stuffed. Straya is the best place in the world, not politically correct, keep it real. Aussies celebrate properly ! #thirsty Continue reading... James Faulkner, the man of the match in the final, walks across the MCG pitch with the World Cup trophy.
- Cricket World Cup: Michael Clarke says he thinks about Phillip Hughes every day - video
Retiring Australian one-day international captain Michael Clarke says he and his teammates are always thinking about Phillip Hughes, who died four months ago after being hit by a cricket ball. Clarke says the Australian team, who have just won the World Cup, played 'with 16 players in our squad' and he will wear a black armband for Hughes for the rest of his career. Continue reading... Phillip Hughes. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images