- Steven Finn makes case for England Test place against Pakistan
• Pakistan A 192-12 v England • Paceman puts pressure on selectors with impressive Sharjah display On a day when 12 Pakistan A wickets fell in the same innings, the four taken by Steven Finn are likely to prove the most significant in the weeks to come. England’s decision to rest James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood for the second of the two-day warm-up matches is a clear indication that Trevor Bayliss has already settled on his three seamers for next week’s opening Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. However, while Finn’s performance, taking four for 16 in 15 overs, may not prompt the coach into a rethink, it will certainly give him food for thought for the rest of the series. Continue reading... Steven Finn celebrates dismissing Usman Salahuddin, of Pakistan A, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
- Alex Hales handed chance to impress for England against Pakistan A
• Nottinghamshire batsman will open with Moeen Ali on Friday • England will field on Thursday in final warm-up match Alex Hales was given a chance to force his way into the reckoning as a possible opener in next week’s first Test when he was named to do the job alongside Moeen Ali in England’s final warm-up match. Related: Jos Buttler very close to a score for England, says coach Paul Farbrace Continue reading... Alex Hales will partner Moeen Ali when England bat on Friday.
- Mitchell Starc fires New South Wales to big win over South Australia
Test paceman produces figures of 4-27 off 8.3 overs at North Sydney Oval Spell helps NSW to comfortable Matador Cup win over South Australia Test stars Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc appear set for a massive summer if their early season form is any indication, with the pair again leading NSW to a big win in the domestic one-day cup. Related: Warne, Tendulkar and Ponting among stars to take cricket on tour of the US Continue reading... Mitchell Starc produced a stunning opening spell against the Redbacks.
- Former New Zealand captain Chris Cairns hears match-fixing allegations in court
• Former all-rounder accused of perjury and perverting the course of justice • Cairns was awarded £1.4m in libel case against IPL chairman Lalit Modi Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand cricket captain, persuaded a team-mate to fix matches with him and then got a friend to pressure him into lying about it during a high court libel action, a court has heard. Chris Cairns, who played 62 Tests and 215 one-day internationals for his country over 17 years, was regarded as a “hero, role model and legend” in the game, “the golden boy in the cricket world whom every cricketer wished to emulate”. Continue reading... Chris Cairns, former New Zealand cricketer, leaves Southwark crown court in London on Wednesday.
- Jos Buttler very close to a score for England, says coach Paul Farbrace
• Wicketkeeper had poor Ashes summer with the bat • Buttler and co to face Pakistan A in another two-dayer Paul Farbrace, England’s assistant coach, has backed Jos Buttler to overcome the poor run of form with the bat that has put his place in the Test team under scrutiny. The wicketkeeper-batsman endured a tough second half of the English summer, averaging only 15.25 during the Ashes and then being pulled out of the subsequent one-day series against Australia just two games in after scores of four and nought. Continue reading... England's assistant coach Paul Farbrace brims with enthusiasm. Photograph: Philip Brown/Action Images via ReutersEngland's assistant coach Paul Farbrace brims with enthusiasm. Photograph: Philip Brown/Action Images via Reuters
- Somerset sign former Australia Test opener Chris Rogers for 2016 season
• Rogers, 38, retired from Test cricket after recent Ashes series • ‘I’m really pleased to be joining a club of the stature of Somerset’ Somerset have signed the former Australia opener Chris Rogers for next season. The 38-year-old, who retired from Test cricket after the recent Ashes series, will be joining his fifth county team on a one-year deal. The left-hander played for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire before a four-year stint at Middlesex, where he was captain until 2014. The former Western Australia batsman has scored 11,631 runs in 135 domestic first-class matches in England, averaging over 50 and scoring at least one double-century at each county side he has played for. Continue reading... Somerset have signed the former Australia Test opener Chris Rogers for the 2016 County Championship season. Photograph: John Sibley/ReutersSomerset have signed the former Australia Test opener Chris Rogers for the 2016 County Championship season. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
- England have unfinished business against Pakistan, says Paul Farbrace
• England bidding to become first tourists to beat Pakistan in UAE • Chance for players to move on from 3-0 defeat in early 2012 England believe they have unfinished business, as they bid to become the first tourists to beat Pakistan since the relocation of their home Tests to the United Arab Emirates. Alastair Cook’s team are between warm-up matches on Wednesday, and assistant coach Paul Farbrace is confident they have made a fine start. Continue reading... Paul Farbrace says England have unfinished business as they bid to become the first tourists to beat Pakistan in the UAE. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesPaul Farbrace says England have unfinished business as they bid to become the first tourists to beat Pakistan in the UAE. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
- Warne, Tendulkar and Ponting among stars to take cricket on tour of the US
Trio to be joined by host of other former stars in three-game T20 series Matches to be played in New York, Houston and Los Angeles Shane Warne, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting have been named among a throng of former cricket superstars who will take the sport to the United States in November. Related: Shane Warne in letter to Nick Kyrgios: 'You're testing our patience, mate' Continue reading... Shane Warne will be joined by fellow Australians Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Brad Haddin on the trip to the US.
- Why is a fast bowler's work so back-breaking? | Greg Chappell
The rigours of the modern day game put so much stress on a pace bowler’s body, especially those that have not yet fully matured, that injury is almost inevitable In the words of the late American writer and philosopher Philip K Dick, “reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away”. Reality for fast bowlers is that they will spend an infinite amount of time suffering, or recovering from, injury during their career. Related: Cricket: Steve Smith says safety of Australian team had to take precedence Continue reading... Pat Cummins was ruled out of Australia’s now postponed tour of Bangladesh with another back injury.
- Moeen Ali and Mark Wood shine as England bowlers toil in desert heat
• Day two: England 286-5dec; Pakistan A 216-5. Match drawn On a day when England toiled and Adil Rashid was foiled Moeen Ali and Mark Wood emerged as the pick of the bowlers against Pakistan A. This match was meaningless as a contest, given it had been rigged to allow each side to bat for the entirety of one day and then field for the other. A result was not even an option. Continue reading... Moeen Ali took three wickes for England against Pakistan A.
- Frank Tyson obituary
England cricketer whose ferocious bowling destroyed Australia in the 1954 Ashes and earned him the epithet ‘Typhoon’ Frank Tyson, who has died aged 85, probably bowled as fast a ball as any cricketer who has ever played, and inevitably he attracted the nickname “Typhoon”. His domination at international level was fleeting, with one Test series for England memorable for his performance alone: in Australia in 1954-55. To him and to all who marvelled at his pace in that Ashes encounter, that spectacle was worth much more than any long workaday career. When Tyson returned to Australia four years later, the phenomenal edge of speed had gone and he was just an average quick bowler, to be remembered as the balding, muscular academic who had spearheaded Len Hutton’s dramatic retention of the Ashes following England’s ominous thrashing in the opening Test match at Brisbane (Tyson 1 for 160). Tyson was born in Farnworth, Lancashire, and educated at Queen Elizabeth’s grammar school, Middleton, before taking an English literature degree at Durham University. He followed a fellow Lancastrian, Keith Andrew , a high-class wicketkeeper, down to Northamptonshire, and made his debut in 1952. Tyson’s first headline came when the county hosted the 1953 Australian touring team. On that bland pitch, he bruised flesh and battered gloves. Word spread fast that here was something out of the ordinary. The following year brought his Test debut, when a complacent England suffered an unexpected defeat by Pakistan at the Oval, Tyson taking four top-order wickets in a low-scoring match. Soon he and Andrew were on the ship to Australia. Continue reading... Frank Tyson (right) and Brian Statham lead the England cricket team off the pitch after their victory in the 2nd Test match against Australia in Sydney on 22 December 1954. England won by 38 runs. Photograph: Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty ImagesFrank Tyson (right) and Brian Statham lead the England cricket team off the pitch after their victory in the 2nd Test match against Australia in Sydney on 22 December 1954. England won by 38 runs. Photograph: Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images
- Mitchell Starc needed cortisone injections to get through Ashes tour
• Australia fast bowler has ‘chronic right-ankle condition’ • Surgery for Starc would mean lay-off of up to five months Australia have revealed that their fast bowler Mitchell Starc has been struggling with a right-ankle condition for which he needed cortisone injections during the tour of England. The 25-year-old from New South Wales, who was a near ever-present during the Ashes Tests and one-day series, missed the fourth ODI at Headingley , which England won by three wickets. Continue reading... Mitchell Starc, right, shows his concern after felling Eoin Morgan with a bouncer in the final ODI. Photograph: Philip Brown/ReutersMitchell Starc, right, shows his concern after felling Eoin Morgan with a bouncer in the final ODI. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters
- Trevor Bayliss discusses Eoin Morgan's injury after Australia defeat England – video
Reaction from England head coach Trevor Bayliss after Australia beat England by eight wickets in the final One Day International to win the series 3-2 at Old Trafford on Sunday. Bayliss gives an update on Eoin Morgan’s condition after the England captain was hit on the head by a Mitchell Starc bouncer Continue reading... 140x84 trailpic for Trevor Bayliss on Eoin Morgan injury in Australia-England game video140x84 trailpic for Trevor Bayliss on Eoin Morgan injury in Australia-England game video
- Steve Smith reminded of Phillip Hughes death by Eoin Morgan incident
• England captain hit by Mitchell Starc bouncer as Australia clinch series • Starc played for New South Wales in match that led to Hughes’s death last year The Australia captain, Steve Smith, admitted the sight of Eoin Morgan, his opposite number, being struck in the head by a bouncer brought memories of Phillip Hughes’ tragic death flooding back for his players – and the fast bowler Mitchell Starc in particular – during their eight-wicket victory . Starc, who was playing for New South Wales last November when the South Australia batsman Hughes was killed following a bouncer to the back of the head, appeared visibly shaken after his short-pitched delivery, in the seventh over of the series decider, forced Morgan to retire hurt on one, with England going on to be bowled out for 138. Continue reading... England’s Eoin Morgan after being struck by a bouncer from Australia’s Mitchell Starc, right.
- Sport picture of the day: we're only here for the beer snake
The fans at Old Trafford didn’t let the disappointment of England’s performance distract them as they went about constructing a rather impressive beer snake . No doubt a few more pints were sunk after the match as England’s fans drowned their sorrows after the eight wicket defeat and the Aussie fans celebrated winning the ODI series Continue reading...
- Australia ease past England to clinch series after Eoin Morgan injury
• Australia, 140-2, beat England, 138, by eight wickets to win series 3-2 • Eoin Morgan retires hurt after being struck by Mitchell Starc bouncer No one promised us reliability and, sure enough, this England one-day side, which has excited and exasperated this summer, delivered their tamest performance in this “final”. Australia won by eight wickets with 25.4 overs to spare, a thrashing not anticipated after England had fought back from 2-0 down in this series. Just about everything that could go wrong for England did. Even the winning of what seemed an important toss was a mixed blessing. They lost wickets in clumps and they also lost their captain, who has been such an inspiration. Eoin Morgan was forced to retire hurt having been hit on the helmet by a short ball from Mitchell Starc and he was never sighted again. Understandably he was advised not to return as he was suffering from concussion. Continue reading...
- Eoin Morgan smashes 92 to help England level series with Australia
• Fourth ODI: England, 304-7, beat Australia, 299-7, by three wickets • Series level at 2-2 with one match to play; Eoin Morgan hits run-a-ball 92 This was the most nail-biting contest of the summer between these teams and it ended with an English victory, rapturously cheered by a capacity crowd at a boisterous, sun-kissed Headingley. For only the fourth time ever England chased down a target of 300 with their captain, Eoin Morgan, leading the way while confirming the value of a damn good rest to employers everywhere in the process. Morgan hit a sizzling 92 from 92 balls before being brilliantly caught by Glenn Maxwell at backward point. It was enough to take England within striking distance of their target. In the end they won by three wickets with 10 balls to spare. Continue reading... Eoin Morgan hits a six watched by the Australia wicketkeeper, Matthew Wade, during England’s three-wicket win at Headingley.
- England v Australia: fourth ODI – as it happened
England won by three wickets to draw level in the series at 2-2 with one to play, a match most memorable for two sensational catches from Australia’s Glenn Maxwell 6.21pm BST And with that, I’m off. It’s been a blast. Bye! 6.21pm BST Morgan speaks! Before a ball had been bowled we certainly would have taken 300 as a chase. It’s always comforting having guys down the order that can play well and have a lot of experience. Willey opened the floodgates. We had Australia 30-3, which was pretty unexpected. He took advantage of the conditions, of his chance as well. Him coming in and producing a performance like that I thought was outstanding. Death bowling is something we’re trying to improve on. We’ll continue to do that over the next year or so. Continue reading... Pat Cummins of Australia successfully appeals for the wicket of Alex Hales.
- The Cricket Pitch Ashes Edinburgh special - Guardian Live video
The Cricket Pitch is the Guardian’s live cricket and comedy chat show, this time coming from the Edinburgh Festival. Hosted by Emma John and comedian Alex Horne with special guests including former Ashes winner Andrew Flintoff and comedians Mark Steel and Tim Key, and music from the Horne Section. Continue reading... 140x84 trailpic for Cricket Pitch Edinburgh140x84 trailpic for Cricket Pitch Edinburgh
- England likely to recall David Willey for fourth ODI against Australia
• Northants seamer to come in after Chris Woakes ruled out for rest of series • Australia may rest Mitchell Starc at Headingley amid energy concerns David Willey is set to be recalled by England for Friday’s fourth one-day international against Australia on his future home ground of Headingley, with fellow seamer Chris Woakes ruled out for the rest of the series because of a thigh strain. The 25-year-old Northamptonshire left-armer Willey, who has signed a three-year deal to play for Yorkshire from next season, made his England one-day debut at the start of the summer but has not featured since victory in the one-off Twenty20 in Cardiff on 31 August. Continue reading... David Willey takes part in a training session as England prepare for the fourth one-day international against Australia.
- England v Australia: third ODI – as it happened
England cruise to victory thanks to James Taylor’s century and fine spin bowling from Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid 9.09pm BST Right, that’s it from me. Be sure to stick around on site for all the reports and reaction. But for now, cheerio! 9.08pm BST A comprehensive win for England in the end, thanks to James Taylor’s batting and the spin bowling of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. Continue reading... Moeen Ali celebrates taking the wicket of Australia’s Glenn Maxwell.
- England’s Ben Stokes praised for mature response to obstruction ruling
• All-rounder controversially dismissed in second ODI against Australia • Stokes under consideration for vice-captaincy in absence of Jos Buttler • Jason Gillespie: ‘You could argue Morgan contravened the Spirit of Cricket’ Ben Stokes goes into Tuesday’s third one-day international against Australia at Old Trafford with praise from England’s head coach, Trevor Bayliss, for his reaction to his controversial dismissal at Lord’s and under consideration for the vice-captaincy. The all-rounder, who could earn the promotion in the absence of the rested wicketkeeper and regular No2, Jos Buttler, has given his version of the events in the 64-run defeat that leaves Eoin Morgan’s side 2-0 down with three to play. Continue reading... Ben Stokes leaves the field after being controversially dismissed during England’s second ODI against Australia at Lord’s.
- You could argue it was Eoin Morgan who contravened the Spirit of Cricket | Jason Gillespie
The third umpire was quite right to dismiss Ben Stokes, whose hand had no right to be where it was, and Australia’s Steve Smith was correct to appeal We are going to need something more specific than the mystical Spirit of Cricket if incidents like the dismissal of Ben Stokes on Saturday are not going to erupt into a war of words in future. First, the wicket. Stokes, for me, was out by the letter of the law. It’s a case of interpretation , of course, and in this instance the two on-field umpires said not out but the third umpire, Joel Wilson, overruled them. Like me, he believed Stokes’s arm had no right to be where it was and therefore he was obstructing the field. Continue reading... England’s Ben Stokes walks after he was judged out for obstructing the field during the ODI against Australia at Lord’s.England’s Ben Stokes walks after he was judged out for obstructing the field during the ODI against Australia at Lord’s.
- Ben Stokes incident sours Australia win over England in second ODI
• Australia 309-7; England 245 all out • Australia win by 64 runs England were soundly defeated again by Australia by 64 runs. The numbers suggest a carbon copy of that routine first encounter at Southampton , but they are misleading. For perhaps the first time during this Ashes summer there was additional spice given to proceedings by the controversial dismissal of Ben Stokes, who has a habit of finding odd ways of getting out. England were 141 for three in their 25th over in pursuit of 310 for victory when Stokes was given out for obstructing the field. Boos echoed around Lord’s when the decision of the third umpire, Joel Wilson, was relayed to the middle. Stokes left the field shaking his head furiously. He had driven the ball back firmly to the bowler, Mitchell Starc, and his momentum had taken him out of his crease. Starc picked up the ball and threw at the stumps, as he was perfectly entitled to do. Stokes, scrambling backwards, instinctively – or was it wilfully? – stuck out his hand, which made contact with the ball. Continue reading... Ben Stokes dives to make his ground but in doing so diverts Mitchell Starc’s throw with his hand. Stokes was given out for obstructing the field.
- The Cricket Pitch: Ashes special night two – Guardian Live highlights video
The Observer’s Emma John and comedian Andy Zaltzman host an evening of music, news and gossip from the world of cricket. They are joined by special guests, former internationals, Gladstone Small and women’s team captain Charlotte Edwards, The Last Leg’s Adam Hills and McBusted’s Harry Judd. The Guardian Live event took place on August 18 2015 at the Kia Oval Continue reading... 140x84 trailpic for The Cricket Pitch: Ashes special night two - Guardian Live highlights video140x84 trailpic for The Cricket Pitch: Ashes special night two - Guardian Live highlights video
- Eoin Morgan delighted with England’s steadfastness in edging Australia
• Captain singles out David Willey and Ben Stokes in tight T20I win • Morgan looks forward to ODIs on back of success There is nothing better than winning a match that was looking as if it was lost. So Eoin Morgan could afford a rare smile after England’s five-run victory over Australia in their Twenty20 match here on Monday. His team held their nerve whereas the Australians did not. Related: England’s Ben Stokes helps beat Australia in T20I with fine final over Continue reading... Eoin Morgan is looking forward to the five ODIs with a spring in his step after the five-run Twenty20 victory over Australia.
- England’s Ben Stokes helps beat Australia in T20I with fine final over
• T20 international: England 182-5; Australia 177-8 • England win by five runs to win one-off match At least this contest went the distance. After a series of truncated Tests the outcome of this isolated T20 match was in doubt until the penultimate ball. England, thanks to some inspired out-cricket in the closing overs – after some shabbier stuff earlier on – won by five runs. With the match in the balance the fielding was sure and bowling intelligent while there was a hint of panic in an Australia camp that contrived to lose five wickets for 16 runs in 14 balls towards the end of their chase. Related: Eoin Morgan delighted with England’s steadfastness in edging Australia Continue reading... England’s Ben Stokes runs out Pat Cummins off the penultimate ball, to leave Australia needing an impossible eight off one ball.
- Eoin Morgan extols virtues of rest on Twenty20 return for England
• Limited-overs captain faces Australia in Cardiff after month off • James Vince and Reece Topley pushing for debuts Eoin Morgan returns to lead England in Monday’s one-off Twenty20 international against Australia in Cardiff following his month-long sabbatical , a break that has seen energy levels renewed. Morgan has not played a competitive match since 1 August when a third-ball duck in Middlesex’s Royal London Cup match with Hampshire convinced him that his search for form, amid a run of 13 innings without a half-century, was tantamount to banging his head against a brick wall. Continue reading... A jovial Eoin Morgan says he is ‘raring to go’ after taking a month off to boost his energy levels.
- Ashes statistics highlight pointlessness of arguing the toss
Widespread calls to do away with the toss and let the tourists decide serve no purpose as England have been victorious in more Tests when losing it while with Australia there is not a significant difference Not least among the charms of international cricket are the ceremonials contained therein. The taking of the second (and occasionally third) new ball always appears to take on a sacramental element as the umpire holds it aloft reverentially before handing it to the bowler. And then there is the toss. Other than cricket, is there any other sport in which the flip of a coin is such a high-profile part of the preliminaries? In football or rugby there is a toss, but the teams apart, does anyone really pay it any mind? The toss before the Boat Race has a consequence in deciding which of the Surrey or Middlesex station the crews take. But beyond that? Related: Ian Bell: ‘I’m not ready to call time on my England Test career’ Continue reading... Alastair Cook, left, tosses the coin for Australia’s Michael Clarke at the Kia Oval where England were won it and lost by an innings. Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Rex ShutterstockAlastair Cook, left, tosses the coin for Australia’s Michael Clarke at the Kia Oval where England were won it and lost by an innings. Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Rex Shutterstock
- England women count on Sarah Taylor for big hit against Australia
England hope Taylor’s free-flowing stroke play is on show in the three Ashes Twenty20 matches against Australia, starting at Chelmsford England Women need to steel themselves as they enter the final stage of the Ashes, needing three victories to retain the trophy. After squandering an early lead in the one-day series, a dismal performance in the only Test ensured that Australia have the advantage heading into the T20s. England must win all three games. Continue reading... Sarah Taylor leaves the field after losing her wicket to Australia’s Ellyse Perry during day four of the women’s Ashes Test in Canterbury.
- The Spin | The brilliance, beauty and brutality of the occasional net | John Ashdown
Anyone who has picked up a bat is likely to have a tale of either misery or magnificence from that unheralded stalwart of the sport – the net In the distance the bowler stands at the end of his run, barely within shouting distance. The batsman shuffles his feet in nervous expectation – the sense is that pretty much anything could happen from this point. There are, however, three certainties: one is that the bowler, whether eight or 80, is imbued with a wild-eyed fervour and will attempt to send down a delivery at ferocious speed. The second is that the batsman, again regardless of age or ability, is going to attempt to smash the ball into next week with an ugly flat-batted swipe. Continue reading... The England side enjoy a nets session at Basin Reserve, Wellington, in 2008 with rather better facilities than you are likely to find round the back of most pavilions. Photograph: Jason O’Brien/Action ImagesThe England side enjoy a nets session at Basin Reserve, Wellington, in 2008 with rather better facilities than you are likely to find round the back of most pavilions. Photograph: Jason O’Brien/Action Images
- England must face the spin challenge with bat and ball against Pakistan | Vic Marks
After a three-nil defeat in the UAE in 2012, England return to play Pakistan with their bowlers facing a tougher task and a batting lineup set for the sternest test Five of England’s Test squad know what to expect in the United Arab Emirates. Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad all played in the three Tests against Pakistan early in 2012 , all of which were lost by England amid the haze and dust of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile Steven Finn carried a lot of drinks. Those Tests took place in front of rows of empty seats and a few dutiful travelling English supporters, constant magnets for the television cameramen. Their forlorn encouragements to the players echoed eerily around stands that came alive only when the one day-matches began. Continue reading... Moeen Ali is set for a busy tour with England against Pakistan in the UAE, as he must take on an attritional spin bowling role.
- The Spin | Welcome to the Death of Inner City Cricket Part Two: the autopsy | Barney Ronay
With apologies in advance for retreading old ground, this week’s Spin returns to a subject that has in itself seemed to demand a follow-up Next year we are to bring all the soldiers home / For lack of money, and it is all right / Places they guarded, or kept orderly / Must guard themselves, and keep themselves orderly / We want the money for ourselves at home / Instead of working. And this is all right Continue reading... The sun goes down over the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.The sun goes down over the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.
- England’s squad for Pakistan series shows why Monty Panesar should not lose hope | Mike Selvey
Release by Essex seems to suggest the end of the road for Monty, but can a spinner of his quality really be allowed to walk away from the game? The circus moves on. These days, hardly does one international series finish than another follows hard on the heels. The scheduling is unrelenting and, without even considering the white-ball cricket, England are only 10 Test matches through the 17 that they will have played in the period that started on 13 April in the Caribbean and is due to finish in Centurion on 26 January. Imagine Bradman playing one third of his Test career in nine months and that is what you have. Today, the team leave for the United Arab Emirates, where they will play three Tests, and of the five series to be played in those nine months, which began with West Indies, continued at home against New Zealand and Australia, and will end in South Africa, it may well be that Pakistan is the most challenging. Continue reading... Monty Panesar, right, celebrates taking a Pakistan wicket with Graeme Swann during England’s last series against them in the UAE in 2012.
- English cricket is in rude health – so don’t tinker too much ECB
It will be a long winter for cricket’s brain trust as the ECB maps out a new way forward for the domestic game but the foundations are strong Discussions over the future structure of domestic cricket in England look set to continue over the close season and I for one do not envy those administrators trying to come up with a long-term solution that strikes the right balance between the quality and quantity of cricket. The questions I get asked most often by supporters or the media are how the county game here compares to that back home in Australia and whether it is producing players that are best equipped for international cricket. And if it isn’t, what changes can be made to ensure it does? Continue reading... Yorkshire retained the County Championship Division One title and many of their players have gone on to play for England in the Test side.
- England’s drama with New Zealand and Australia eclipses pre-season soap opera
It was a season that saw the KP saga end and we could concentrate on two mesmerising Test series, Yorkshire’s continued dominance and quality coaches They would have settled for this at ECB towers at the start of the season: a thrilling drawn Test series against New Zealand, the Ashes regained, a one-day side that won as many games as it lost and barely a mention of Kevin Pietersen (whoops!) for months unless you are trying to work out which T20 leagues he will be playing in next year. Remember May and Pietersen’s 355 for Surrey against Leicestershire followed immediately by confirmation of his ostracism from English cricket – except that he was offered an advisory role to the one-day team by Andrew Strauss. Thereafter, the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman zipped his mouth shut, the cricket took over from the soap opera and there was something to smile about. The best Test matches of the summer were against New Zealand; they lasted five days and ebbed and flowed; they were properly competitive yet there was almost an air of celebration about them. Brendon McCullum and his side set the carefree tone but, after all the misery, Alastair Cook and his team, encouraged by the caretaker coach, Paul Farbrace, were happy to join in the fun. Continue reading... England’s Stuart Broad provided the image of the season after Ben Stokes’s catch of Adam Voges. Photograph: Matthew Impey/Rex ShutterstockEngland’s Stuart Broad provided the image of the season after Ben Stokes’s catch of Adam Voges. Photograph: Matthew Impey/Rex Shutterstock
- The Spin | It’s curtains for the bigger Tests at the Waca … it will be missed when it’s gone | Mike Selvey
Western Australia’s main ground has only been hosting Tests in its unique conditions since 1971 but from 2018 the Perth Stadium will take over – though attempts to replicate the playing conditions will prove to be a tall order When it comes to cricket, the biggest compliment ever paid to the Spin came from “Tiger” Bill O’Reilly, the legendary Australia bowler but, by the time of meeting, a trenchant observer and writer on the game. The introduction, by an esteemed colleague, came in the old press box at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the one-off Bicentennial Test between Australia and England in 1988. His reputation was as an irascible fellow. “Ah, yes,” he remarked, “I remember you. You swung the ball at the Waca.” More than a decade on and he remembered that – and, you see, the memory of those kind words lingers still. Swung the ball at the Waca – that spelling, incidentally, is insistent Guardian style apparently, for those who wonder, despite the fact that the Western Australian Cricket Association, whose ground it is, themselves use WACA: it did swing, too, in early 1977, when the England team were en route from a successful tour of India to Melbourne for what was to prove a historic Centenary Test. The Fremantle Doctor, the sea breeze that biffs in down the Swan river, blew nicely and conditions were good. Continue reading... Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey of Australia celebrate after combining to take the wicket of Jimmy Anderson on the cracked Waca wicket in 2013. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesMitchell Johnson and George Bailey of Australia celebrate after combining to take the wicket of Jimmy Anderson on the cracked Waca wicket in 2013. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
- Adam Lyth was clearly at risk of England omission but it’s still tough | Jason Gillespie
Seven Tests against top attacks is not long to prove yourself, but players control their own destiny and know they must take their chances when they arise Taking on Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates is a tough assignment but after seeing the squad England have selected for the tour , a repeat of the 3-0 Test series defeat suffered last time does not look on the cards for me. I wouldn’t rule out an away win, either. Alastair Cook’s side may be less experienced than the one three years ago but there are good players of spin in that batting lineup and the collective mindset is strong; they will not carry scars from 2012, only a youthful positivity. With the ball, Moeen Ali is developing as a spinner and Adil Rashid, even if he is an unknown quantity at Test level, represents an attacking option. Continue reading... Adam Lyth trudges off at the Kia Oval for the last time in an Ashes series in which he failed to take advantage of being given all five Tests to prove himself as an opener.
- Brian Close: funny, generous, a wee bit mad and awesomely brave | Vic Marks
He was my first county captain at Somerset and made a lasting impression on all of us, none more so than the young Viv Richards and Ian Botham There are a lot of cricketers out there mourning the death of Brian Close. You never forget your first county captain and, given that Close led Yorkshire for eight years and Somerset for five, many young men of the 60s and 70s made their debuts under his leadership. All of them looked on with awe at this battered, bald-headed old blighter in the corner of the dressing room, supping endless cups of tea, the Sporting Life on his knee (as it often was when he was driving), giggling away, yet every now and then delivering magnificent dressing-downs to errant young players – and older ones if necessary. Yes, Closey was my first county captain. He made an immediate impact upon me at Somerset; it may have taken a little longer for me to impact upon him. Unwittingly Close had an enormous impact on all of the youngsters at Taunton but most significantly on the young Ian Botham and Viv Richards. Talk to this be-knighted pair now and they will happily sing his praises into the early hours. Continue reading... Brian Close bats for Old England against the Old World at The Oval in 1983.
- Remembering the Waca Ground: a Test track that was a highway to hell | Russell Jackson
Few other Test venues could match the Waca for fear factor; bowlers will likely miss the rock hard, lightning fast pitches once they’re gone, batsman less so Soon, the Fremantle Doctor will no longer drift across Test match cricket. We’ll have to merely remember the nervous scrape of the batsman’s spikes as he shuffled back and across to some outrageous lifter or the thwack of another ball flying high towards third man. Time then to reflect on the Waca Ground’s many storied moments since it started hosting Tests in the summer of 1970-71. In the intervening time the iconic but not always loved venue has produced a quite compelling bank of sun-drenched memories and myths – that pitch of sandy-white autobahn-grade tarmac, whose cracks opened like ravines and offered the kind of trampolining bounce that ensured even modest pacemen the ability to whistle the ball past batsmen’s ears. Continue reading... Australia v England, Third Test, 2013.
- I’m so pleased Yorkshire’s Andrew Gale will make up for last year | Jason Gillespie
Jason Gillespie’s captain made 98 against Middlesex and will finally get to lift the County Championship trophy after being suspended and made to stand aside at the presentation last year When Andrew Gale, our captain at Yorkshire, goes on to lift the County Championship trophy at Lord’s at the end of our match with Middlesex it will be a hugely satisfying moment for him and everyone involved at this great club. Defending our title has taken serious hard work, with the 2015 season throwing up plenty of fresh challenges. But our players have risen to each and every one of them. They have been brilliant and played some phenomenal cricket at times. Continue reading... Yorkshire's Andrew Gale strikes out for a boundary in his innings of 98 against Middlesex at Lord's. Photograph: Adam Davy/PAYorkshire's Andrew Gale strikes out for a boundary in his innings of 98 against Middlesex at Lord's. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA
- How to make cricket commentary more compelling: through good storytelling | Scott McConnell
Cricket, especially in Test form, is a conceptual sport. Highlighting the mental aspect of a contest in the narrative of a match is what makes tuning in interesting Had enough? Not going to take it anymore? Like me, are you tired of mindless cricket commentary and its hodge-podge of trivia, matey banter, and focus on the hosts’ antics? Cricket commentary, especially on TV, has lost its mind. Continue reading... The late Richie Benaud, widely regarded as the finest cricket commentator. Current callers could learn a great deal from his work.
- England and Australia captains lock horns over Ben Stokes’ dismissal
Ben Stokes was given out for obstructing the field but the third umpire may have come to a different conclusion if he had watched the incident in real time At 5.18pm, the boos rung out around Lord’s, the England captain, Eoin Morgan, was shaking his head out in the middle and Ben Stokes was trudging up the pavilion steps, swinging his bat in disgust at the decision that had seen him given out for 10 by the third umpire under law 37.1: obstructing the field. Related: Ben Stokes incident sours Australia win over England in second ODI Continue reading... Ben Stokes was given out by the third umpire after being accused of obstructing the field during the second one-day international between England and Australia at Lord's. Photograph: James Marsh/BPI/Rex ShutterstockBen Stokes was given out by the third umpire after being accused of obstructing the field during the second one-day international between England and Australia at Lord's. Photograph: James Marsh/BPI/Rex Shutterstock
- Adil Rashid shows Test potential by keeping Australia under control | Ali Martin
Although England faltered in chasing 306, they would have faced a bigger target in the First One-Day International but for the efforts of the Yorkshire leg-spinner It was Adil Rashid’s turn to shine with the ball on Thursday, if not always coming via turn off the pitch. Twice, in fact, he took the 22-yard strip out of the equation to wicket-taking effect, with Australia’s new opener, Joe Burns, and their new captain, Steve Smith, both perishing to that most devilish of deliveries in the leg-spinner’s armoury: the full toss. Such dismissals may stick in the craw of the batsman but there was no question that the Yorkshireman was still the stand-out bowler for England, claiming four of the six victims in the first innings after an Ashes series in which he was tipped by the head coach, Trevor Bayliss, to play a part at some stage – and named in all five squads – and yet somehow failed to make his debut. Continue reading... Adil Rashid celebrates dismissing Australia’s David Warner, caught by Chris Woakes for 59, the second of four wickets in the First One-Day International for the England leg-spinner.
- Another tranche of ground conceded: the tragic end of Lewisham cricket | The Spin
Inner-city London’s community clubs might not be a hotbed of international talent but they are a connection to the game’s future consumers, the carriers of the torch, and these places are being de-cricketised piece by piece It’s almost over, then. There is probably a detailed study to be made of the relationship between English cricket’s innate sense of wistful ennui – the good is all gone! The bad is all to come! – and the fact the whole business happens to stop every year just as the summer ends and earth turns a shade of sad. Either way, within the next 10 days Australia’s cricketers will be going home for the second time in two years and the current back-to-back-back triple stack of conjoined Ashes tours will finally be over, a 15-match gorge that has felt at times less like a celebration of cricket, more like the end of something. Continue reading... ‘Let’s face it, for much of the country cricket is now basically a private school game, or something that belongs to the green, grammar school suburbs. It is for the pre-converted or those who can afford to have an interest.’
- Charlie Hemphrey: the English cricketer treading an irregular path to the top
Australia’s Sheffield Shield is a route rarely taken by aspiring English cricketers but the success of late-bloomer Charlie Hemphrey may inspire fellow hopefuls Players reared in Australia forging successful careers in English county cricket are a familiar sight. Steven Crook reminded Australia of as much by scoring 142 not out for Northamptonshire against them this month. Crook was unable to get a professional contract down under, but has enjoyed a fine career in England. Few players travel in the reverse direction: the odds on someone not deemed good enough by 18 first-class teams in England being embraced by one of the six in Australia are not good. For years Charlie Hemphrey attempted to secure a contract in county cricket. Twice he was released by Kent; he returned, for a third time, to play second team cricket but the club did not reverse their judgement. A simple conclusion was that, like dozens of peripheral players released by counties each year, Hemphrey was a good cricketer but not good enough for the professional game. When he played second team cricket for Derbyshire and Essex, they shared Kent’s view. In 2013, Hemphrey was a 24-year-old working as a construction site management in Folkestone, playing club cricket and no longer interesting county second elevens. Continue reading... Queensland cricketer Charlie Hemphrey in action during a Brisbane Heat practice game. Photo by Bob Jones Photography supplied by Queensland Cricket.
- Joe Root and the new generation | Andy Bull
Captaincy talk is inevitable, but England are doing well by letting him be his own childish self. For now, at least, he is best when he’s carefree After the urn, the fireworks, the cheques, the champagne, the medals, the handshakes, the lap of honour and the rendition of Jerusalem, the team photos, the TV interviews and the post-match press conferences, the 2015 Ashes finished, in the very end, with a joke about Stuart Broad’s penis. It was Joe Root who did it . When Alastair Cook started to talk to the press about Broad’s length – “it’s been fantastic” – it was too much for Root to take. He started sniggering so hard that, in the end, Cook turned to him and asked: “What are you laughing at?” Root, ran his hand over his chin to try and disguise his smile. “Nothing,” he said. Then he admitted: “You talking about Stuart’s length”. Cook, playing it straight, rolled his eyes, gave a suffering sigh, and replied: “You and your one-track mind. I’m trying to do a serious interview here, Joe.” Continue reading... England’s Joe Root in full flow.England’s Joe Root in full flow.
- ‘A middle-order from Yorkshire could be England’s long-term solution’ | Jason Gillespie
A right-handed opener who plays with positive intent could better complement Alastair Cook than another leftie in place of Adam Lyth on the forthcoming tours The noises coming from the England camp after their Ashes win should be encouraging for supporters because the message is not one of mission accomplished but that they are aware improvements are needed before two tough Test assignments this winter. Trevor Bayliss, the head coach, has been very impressive during his short time in charge and was spot on in saying that the victory must not paper over cracks in the team. He knows there is a lot of work to be done with a developing side and will now look at ways to address the shortcomings. Victory over Australia is a very handy starting point. Continue reading... Joe Root, named the man of the series for England, epitomises the hosts’ positive approach.
- England v Australia: 10 curious things we’ve learned from the Ashes series
If 2005 was a series for a starved generation, an epic to compete with the most golden of eras, 2015 was a tall tale, reconnecting us with a more baroque age Well, that was mad, wasn’t it? If 2005 was a series for a starved generation, an epic to compete with the most golden of eras, 2015 was a tall tale, reconnecting us with a more baroque age. Wild and eccentric, it will sit forever alongside cricket’s strangest folk stories – happy proof that however professional the game has become, Test cricket remains as inimitable and unpredictable as it was 100 years ago. So, while we begin to celebrate the most bizarre Ashes series in living memory, let’s consider what else it has taught us … 1 There’s something about a redhead Continue reading... England's Joe Root snaps a selfie with fans after the Ashes series-securing victory at Trent Bridge. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the GuardianEngland's Joe Root snaps a selfie with fans after the Ashes series-securing victory at Trent Bridge. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian
- England fans in forgiving mood despite Australia’s dominance of fifth Test | Andy Bull
England are not a great team yet but they are a popular one – and it isn’t just down to the Ashes series scoreline The new trains on the London Underground seat 252, but morning most running southbound on the Victoria line were holding many more than that. At 9.35am, it was standing room only from King’s Cross onwards. A London weekend in late summer and everyone’s got somewhere to go. Some shopping at Oxford Circus, some strolling in Green Park, some sightseeing in Pimlico, some switching trains at Victoria and some, lucky few and happiest of the lot, on their way to Vauxhall to watch England slide to defeat. Spot them, as ever, by their smiles, sun hats, England kit, plastic bags stuffed full of sandwiches, and papers folded open to the sports section. Related: No charity for England and Alastair Cook as Australia enforce the follow-on | Mike Selvey Continue reading... Fans in a flat overlooking the Kia Oval remind everyone that the destiny of the Ashes has already been decided.
- Playing inside the M25 obviously brings out the best in the Australians | Vic Marks
Alastair Cook’s England had built up a lot of credit in the bank but their monumental lack of discipline meant it was used up very quickly on a chastening second day of the final Test at the Kia Oval It is just as well that there is a lot of credit in the bank. So far in this Test match, no matter how determined they were to win 4-1, no matter how persuasive Alastair Cook was in those pre-match telephone calls, there has been a monumental lack of discipline or nous in England’s cricket. They have been comprehensively outplayed by Australia in a series where the front-runner in each match has never been overtaken – or even threatened. Continue reading... Alastair Cook walks after losing his wicket for 22 runs.
- Australia’s Steve Smith makes statement with self-restraint against England | Andy Bull
The tourists’ No3 was determined to make a point at the scene of his first Test century and, after a reprieve from a Steven Finn no-ball, he reached his 11th The last time Steve Smith came to play in Kennington, he was a 24-year-old without a Test century to his name, still finding his way in Australia’s middle order. That was in 2013. Cricket moves quickly these days, and a lot has changed in those two years, not least Smith himself. He returned as one of the leading batsmen in the world, ranked No3 now, and only recently deposed from the top spot by Joe Root. Smith made his first ton in that very match in 2013 , 138 in a strange game in which England gave debuts to both Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan, and Michael Clarke infuriated his own management with a generous declaration, spared in the end only by the bad light on the fifth evening. It seems unlikely England will come so close to winning this time . Continue reading... Steve Smith celebrates reaching his 11th century – all of which have been achieved in the first innings. Photograph: Paul Childs/ReutersSteve Smith celebrates reaching his 11th century – all of which have been achieved in the first innings. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters
- Michael Clarke fails to recover stride after premature guard of honour | Vic Marks
Australia’s departing captain had flown the family over for his final Test, which is just as well as Channel 9 back home was showing adverts when he was applauded to the wicket and given a guard of honour It was odd that England should form a guard of honour for Michael Clarke when he arrived at the crease but not unprecedented. They did the same for Don Bradman in 1948, a parallel that Clarke might enjoy. Moreover, in more recent times the “greats” have often been accorded this ritual and no one really quibbles about Clarke deserving such a public acknowledgment of his career. No, this is what was odd: that England should form their guard of honour on the first day in Australia’s first innings. Had they come to the conclusion that Clarke would bat only once in this match? Did they calculate that the Australians were going to score so many runs in their first innings that a second knock for Clarke would never come to pass? If so, whatever happened to all that positive thinking? Continue reading... Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke, receives a guard of honour from England as he comes in to bat for what may have been his last Test innings. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PAAustralia’s captain, Michael Clarke, receives a guard of honour from England as he comes in to bat for what may have been his last Test innings. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA
- Chris Rogers, unfashionable but dependable, will be missed by Australia | Russell Jackson
As the understated batsman departs from the Test arena, Australia must wonder how they will replace his subtle and elusive qualities at the crease As Australia embark upon the last of their Test commitments on this ill-starred Ashes tour at the Kia Oval, they also bid farewell to their top-order bulwark, Chris Rogers, the only batsman from whom the tourists have received truly consistent returns throughout this English summer. At this point it probably pays to try and position Rogers within the pantheon of left-handed Australian openers, as much as one can from a sample size of 24 Tests – not quite enough to compare him to the greats like Arthur Morris, a little too many to rank against flash-in-the-pans. Continue reading... Chris Rogers will pull on his baggy green for one final time in the final 2015 Ashes Test at the Kia Oval, starting on Thursday.
- Michael Clarke merits fitting Australia farewell in Test that still matters | Jason Gillespie
Not all Australia greats get the send-off they deserve but Michael Clarke will in an Oval Ashes Test for which they should find plenty of motivation Michael Clarke will enjoy one last Test match as the Australia captain before retirement , and while sentimentality has not always been the Australian way, the circumstances of this tour make it understandable. He has earned the right to go out his way. Clarke would still have been selected had he kept quiet on his plans to call it a day and with the Ashes lost, a legend of the game now gets a fitting sendoff at the Kia Oval. There was no way Clarke was guaranteed a spot after this tour but he has been honest about this himself. Continue reading... The outgoing Australia captain Michael Clarke leaves the pitch after an optional training session at the Kia Oval.The outgoing Australia captain Michael Clarke leaves the pitch after an optional training session at the Kia Oval.
- Ashes 2015: England set for same again to keep pushing for cricket history
Absence of recovering Jimmy Anderson means Alastair Cook will stick with the side who secured the Ashes against Australia at Trent Bridge There is an imperative for England to keep the foot on the pedal and close out the series with another win. Not once in any of the previous 27 Ashes series in this country that have involved four or more Tests have England won more than three. Alastair Cook, who already stands alongside WG Grace and Mike Brearley as the only England captains to have won two home Ashes series, is looking to create a unique slice of England history. His impassioned round of phone calls to his players a week ago tells as much. Continue reading... England’s Joe Root, left, and Adam Lyth wait their turn for a net the Kia Oval on Wednesday, when the teams completed their preparations. Photograph: Philip Brown/ReutersEngland’s Joe Root, left, and Adam Lyth wait their turn for a net the Kia Oval on Wednesday, when the teams completed their preparations. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters
- Kumar Sangakkara heads to retirement arguably the first among equals | Dileep Premachandran
Sri Lanka prepares to say farewell to a man who is not only one of the statesmen of the modern game, but the most consistent batsman of his era For a split-second, I thought he was going to hit me. I’d gone to the team hotel to meet Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka’s captain, but the first person I came across in the lobby was his great friend, Kumar Sangakkara. The previous afternoon – in a World Cup final now remembered for Adam Gilchrist’s squash-ball-in-glove heroics, floodlight failures and farcical organisation – Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya had, for just over one quixotic hour, made the impossible seem plausible. Needing 282 from 38 overs, they were cruising at 102 for one from 16, with the asking rate just over eight. Not long after, Sangakkara had miscued a pull to short midwicket, triggering a domino-like collapse that saw Sri Lanka fall well short. “You gave it away, champ,” I said, realising immediately that it wasn’t the cleverest opening line to offer a losing finalist. Instead of a fit of pique, however, Sangakkara responded with a wry smile. “These things happen, eh? That’s sport.” Continue reading... Kumar Sangakkara is all smiles as Sri Lanka beat India in the opening Test.
- Sport picture of the day: Kumar Sangakkara leaves Nottinghamshire stumped
Surrey’s Kumar Sangakkara crashes into his stumps after making his ground during the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final between Surrey and Nottinghamshire at the Kia Oval. The Sri Lankan gave a batting masterclass as he produced a glorious innings of 166 off 138 balls during Surrey’s total of 300 for five. Notts came up just short, managing 296 for seven in reply as Surrey reached their first Lord’s final in four years Continue reading...
- England's Ashes heroes draw each other – in pictures
England’s Ashes Heroes of 2015 and 2005 draw pictures of each other to help raise finds for charity England’s Ashes Heroes past and present have swapped their bats for pens to raise funds for the Cricket United charity appeal. The current England squad have penned portraits of the 2005 Ashes winning squad, who have returned the favour. Cricket United is a joint fundraising appeal by the Lord’s Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund which aims to improve lives through cricket. The charities are asking cricket fans to help turn the Kia Oval blue again on Cricket United Day, 22 August, the third day of the fifth Ashes Test between England and Australia. The drawings are being auctioned off on eBay to raise funds for Cricket United. Supporters can bid for them by visiting bit.ly/CUAshesPortraits . The auction is open until 7pm Sunday 23 August. Continue reading...
- Ashes 2015: England v Australia, fourth Test – in pictures
The Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins was at Trent Bridge to see England beat Australia to win the Ashes Ashes first Test: England v Australia – in pictures Ashes second Test: England v Australia – in pictures Ashes third Test: England v Australia – in pictures Continue reading...
- Trump, banks and cricket: reputations crumble into ashes
Chris Riddell on the Republican primary debate, the RBS share sell-off and the Australian cricket team’s humiliation Continue reading...
- The 20 photographs of the week
The migrant crisis in Europe, Stuart Broad at the Ashes, the wildfires in California – the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week Continue reading...
- Ashes third Test: England v Australia – in pictures
All the best images from Edgbaston as England beat Australia by eight wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the series Ashes first Test: England v Australia – in pictures Ashes second Test: England v Australia – in pictures Continue reading...
- Ashes second Test: England v Australia – in pictures
All the best images from Lord’s as Australia record beat England by the biggest margin since 1948. In fact it’s the ninth biggest win by runs in Test history! Ashes first Test: England v Australia – in pictures Continue reading...
- Ashes first Test: England v Australia – in pictures
Editing a selection from more than 4000 images was not an easy task, the initial edit from the four days realised 100 great shots of fantastic action and emotion as England beat Australia in the first Test. Here’s the final edit for you to relive those moments. Continue reading...
- Eyewitness: Juggling catches at the first Ashes Test
Photographs from the Eyewitness series Continue reading...