Sport 

Ben Stokes: English cricket in shambles after court hearing date coincides with comeback

GETTY Ben Stokes has been charged with affray Avon and Somerset police confirmed that Stokes is due to appear at Bristol magistrates’ court on February 13 to face the charge of affray, following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.  But only hours earlier, in Brisbane, England head coach Trevor Bayliss was all smiles as he said that his talismanic all-rounder would be “welcomed back with open arms” following the ECB’s decision to make him available for selection once more. To add to the sense that Stokes is now…

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Australia v England: first one-day international – live!

39th over: Australia 212-5 (Stonis 11, Paine 2) Woakes on for his third crack today. Has four overs to squeeze out after struggling earlier on. Well, doesn’t concede a boundary in this set, so that’s an improvement. Five from it in the smaller denominations. 38th over: Australia 207-5 (Stonis 7, Paine 1) Paine the new man, playing his first ODI in nearly seven years. What a great story his summer has been. Off the mark through the covers, then Stonis finds one to midwicket in order to keep the strike.…

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Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England fourth Test, day five – live!

The players are out in the middle and the final day’s play will be underway shortly. Continuing the Cook conversation (09:18), Raymond Reardon wants to know “whose name has Cook’s 244 not out replaced, as Sir Donald Bradman has the second highest individual batting record at the MCG of 270 runs”. Cook has replaced Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards whose 209 was the previous highest score by a visiting batsman in Tests at the MCG. The honours board in the Percy Beames bar reflects the highest scores and best bowling…

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Ashes: Steve Smith tells bowlers to not spare England tailenders any mercy in fourth Test

A record crowd is expected for the MCG guaranteeing a hostile atmosphere in the stadium for Joe Root’s tourists as Smith’s side aim for a whitewash. And the Australia captain says there will be no change in tactics in the middle despite criticism in certain quarters of the on-field umpires’ failure to protect England’s lower order. Asked about criticism from former captain Michael Atherton that umpires should have been doing more to protect tailenders under the laws of the game, Smith said: “It’s a bit over the top. No doubt,…

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Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England third Test, day five – live!

This is actually hilarious. The groundstaff are scrambling the big cover back on, the wind keeps blowing it away and nearly takes a few of them with it. They genuinely look like it’s never rained here before. Maybe it hasn’t? The ABC radio box is in hysterics watching the slapstick unfold. Between laughter, Chris Rogers is noting the holes in the technique. “It rained then, and hard, for a good 30 seconds before they got the hessian on. It’s almost like they were surprised again, and had to get to…

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Ashes: England restore hope in second Test as Australia lose four wickets under the lights

Steve Smith’s side remain in a commanding position leading by 268 after England were shelled out over 215 runs short of the hosts’ first innings total. But James Anderson and Chris Woakes at least sent the tourists back to the dressing room wondering whether a miracle awaits them on day four of this Test, taking two wickets apiece as Australia wobbled. Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon and Peter Handscomb held out a late charge but Australia’s top four, including captain Smith, were all sent packing. It may be a long shot but…

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Ashes: England coach Trevor Bayliss offers thoughts on sledging after Steve Smith debacle

The England coach insisted his players were guilty of nothing more than “red-blooded competition” after several clashes with the Australia skipper. But Bayliss admitted that, if he had his way, he would like to see both a reduction in sledging on the field and the removal of stump mic. “Personally, from my point of view, I’m not happy with it and that goes for both sides,” he said. “But it’s just the way the game is these days. “I would like to see the microphones turned down as I don’t…

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Ashes: Australia coach Darren Lehmann fires warning to England

The hosts bounced their way to a one-nil lead in the series in Brisbane, peppering England’s top order with a short-pitched assault from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins and knocking over their tail easily. But while Adelaide will almost certainly offer more to England’s swing bowlers, Lehmann was having none of it. “We’ll get more joy from this drop in pitch than less and it looks a good wicket,” he said. “There’s a bit more pace and bounce in the wicket. This wicket can go through – it was the…

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Ashes: Trevor Bayliss to read England the riot act after Jonny Bairstow headbutt incident

The England coach was furious at having to explain away Bairstow’s late-night antics in a Perth bar which have blown up in the media down under. Particularly given that they came in the immediate aftermath of England slumping to a 10 wicket defeat in the first Test at The Gabba.  But Bayliss insisted that while he does not want to impose a blanket booze ban on the remainder of the tour he will hammer home to the remainder of the squad that it is up to them to take responsibility…

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Jonny Bairstow: ECB investigating ‘headbutt’ involving Cameron Bancroft before Ashes

It is claimed there was an incident in a bar in Perth during England’s pre-series tour match against Cricket Australia. The ECB are yet to comment on the allegations. Sky News Australia tweeted: “The ECB is investigating reports English batsman Jonny Bairstow headbutted Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft in Perth earlier this month.” The police were not involved, while Bancroft did not either provoke or retaliate in the incident. The allegations come to light as England bowler Ben Stokes misses the tour following an incident outside a bar in Bristol last…

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