Sport Stuart Broad takes over as captain for the T20s

After spending the last 12 weeks being battered and bruised at the hands of Australia, Stuart Broad could be forgiven for wishing he was already back at home.

Alastair Cook is bowled by Mitchell Johnson in the Second Test of the Ashes series

Ashes 2013-14: Debutant Ben Stokes remains hopeful on England getting back into Second Test

Stokes claims the tourists still have a chance despite Australia finishing day two with a 538-run lead

The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 4 December 2013

England ready to name two spinners for second Test

England batsman Gary Ballance looks to be the favourite to replace the departed Jonathan Trott after hitting a half-century in the warm-up match against an Australian Chairman's XI

Ashes 2013-14: Gary Ballance puts his hand up to replace Jonathan Trott as half-century is shining light in yet another batting failure

England declare on 212-7 against a Chairman's XI which posed the top order more problems as they found runs hard to come by

Australia bowler Peter Siddle has warned England that the sledging onslaught will not stop anytime soon

Ashes 2013-14: The sledging onslaught will continue throughout the series, warns Australia bowler Peter Siddle

The verbal abuse between the two sides has dominated the fallout from the first Test after Australian captain Michael Clarke was fined for comments made to James Anderson

Australian captain Michael Clarke and England's James Anderson exchange words during day four at The Gabba

Angus Fraser on the Ashes 2013-14: Criticism when you are not playing well can cut deep

The only surprise with Jonathan Trott’s decision to withdraw from England’s Ashes tour of Australia with a stress-related illness is that instances like this do not occur more often. The scrutiny top sportsmen and women are now exposed to and the expectation that is placed on their sometimes fragile bodies is immense. It should, therefore, come as no surprise when an individual is forced to remove themselves from the limelight because they are unable to cope.

Australia captain Michael Clarke exchanges words with England's James Anderson

Ashes 2013-14: Australia captain Michael Clarke fined for 'using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting' towards England bowler James Anderson

The ICC have hit Clarke with a 20% fine of his match fee after his comments in the closing stages of the first Test in Brisbane

The Australians celebrate after Ryan Harris of Australia claimed the wicket of Alastair Cook of England during day two of the First Ashes Test

Ashes 2013-14 comment: Alastair Cook is a problem, and his lack of runs are costing England

England's batting deficiencies well exposed by Australia on day two of the First Test

Ashes 2013-14: England terrorised by Mitchell Johnson as Alastair Cook's side collapse

England go from 82-2 to 136 all out as Australia turn up the pressure at the Gabba to lead by 224 runs

(From left to right) Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Bairstow, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior chat during a practice session in Brisbane

Ashes 2013-14: Despite Australia's bravado, England should win a fourth consecutive Ashes

Alastair Cook's men have the experience

Ashes 2013-14: England warm up for first real Test with a seven wicket win over Australia XI

Australia XI v England, tour match, SCG, fourth day

Steven Finn

Ashes 2013-14: Steve Finn closes on Test place with timely reminder of his strike-rate

England make hay in the Sydney sunshine

England captain Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry salute the crowd as they leave the field at the end of day one of the tour match between Australia A and England
Mitchell Johnson’s good form in one-dayers has led to his Test recall

The Ashes 2013-14: Australia pin hopes on Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey making a difference

All-rounder Shane Watson is also named in side although doubts remain over his fitness as he continues recovery from a hamstring injury

Michael Clarke has got the Ashes mind games underway by announcing the England team for the first Test

The Ashes 2013-14: Australia captain Michael Clarke begins the mind games by announcing England team for first Test

Clarke made the tongue-in-cheek comment after meeting opposite number Alastair Cook at a Remembrance Day ceremony and claimed he told him their starting XI for the first match

The Ashes 2013-14: Matt Prior injury adds to England worries as Australia A match ends in draw

England’s worries for the Ashes increased today. As if their lack of meaningful cricket were not enough, Matt Prior, their wicketkeeper, failed to take the field for Australia A’s innings on the fourth day of the tour match.

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When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
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He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
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