The Light Roller: Stay alert for a classic Championship climax

The diary of a cricket obsessive

Are three divisions the answer to avoiding autumn’s chill wind?

It says a lot about the commercial importance of the FLt20 competition that autumn has arrived with the County Championship still only three-quarters of the way through its programme of matches.

Tinker with the format at will and it still appears beyond the wit of man to shoehorn sixteen four-day games into anything less than five and half months. And while that won't put off the diehard fans, there will be plenty of potential interest drifting towards football - or Strictly for that matter - by this time of year, just as the season reaches its peak.

The first-class county system is not about to change fundamentally but would three divisions really be such a bad thing? 


Collingwood’s captaincy might just win the day for Durham

Despite the lengthening shadows, the Championship is shaping up – again – to be a thrilling race to the wire.  Having pulled off a brilliant win against leaders Yorkshire, Durham are now in the driving seat, just a handful of points behind and with a game in hand.

Even without Graham Onions their attack is a strong one and they have two genuine all-rounders in

Ben Stokes and Scott Borthwick.  But the key factor in a relatively unstarry side is the captaincy of Paul Collingwood.  Last year he took over from Phil Mustard with Durham having won none of their first eight games and guided the club to safety.  A Championship medal this year would be deserved reward for a player who has committed himself to his home team even at the expense of T20 riches abroad.

Even so, Yorkshire won’t give up without a fight so now is not the time to look away.


Would Coldplay turn up to play without Chris Martin?

England take on Ireland today amid the perennial debate about whether it is fair to rest top players when the paying public expect to see every star on display.

There is no doubt that it can be thoroughly disappointing to miss out on a full-strength display – and you wouldn’t expect to pitch up to a Coldplay gig only to discover that Chris Martin (not the New Zealand bowler) had ducked out to be replaced by Olly Murs. 

Then again, this development reflects the fact that we now know what England’s full-strength team actually is – not something that could have been said in times gone by. And in any case, it means that there are those in Dublin today who will be able tell their grandchildren that they were in the crowd when the great Gary Ballance made his England debut.


More women’s cricket please

A cross-format Ashes victory for England’s women may have given us a glimpse of the future.  Not, perhaps, for the men’s game (at least in this country) but certainly for the women in terms of attracting mainstream interest. 

Just as tests and T20 games provide different types of spectacle, so there is no reason to think that people who enjoy watching men play cricket will not enjoy watching women, which is why coverage by the media and co-staging short-form games is so vital.  Counties should consider the same type of arrangement, even if that means putting on friendly games.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice