Sport Steven Finn has returned to the UK from England's Tour of Australia

Finn returned home from Australia after failing to make an appearance due to concerns over his bowling technique

Gary Ballance is confident he can deal with Mitchell Johnson ahead of his return to the Australia squad for the second One-Day International with England

ODI series: Gary Ballance confident he can cope with returning Mitchell Johnson after insisting he's faced quicker bowlers

Ballance is looking to fight fire with fire after hitting half-centuries in his last two innings

Kevin Pietersen can either wait for the IPL auction next month or play county cricket in England

Kevin Pietersen is dropped by Delhi Daredevils

Kevin Pietersen’s future took a surprising turn yesterday when Delhi Daredevils decided not to retain the England batsman – or indeed any of their players – for this year’s Indian Premier League.

Kevin Pietersen is awaiting confirmation that he will be retained by the Delhi Daredevils for this year's IPL

Kevin Pietersen: England batsman awaiting confirmation that he will be retained by IPL side Delhi Daredevils despite country row

Pietersen is currently at the centre of a row between himself and head coach Andy Flower and any IPL decision could have a further impact on his chances for playing for England again

I’m backing Alastair Cook to stay as captain
Simpson on the way to compiling a century for England against Australia in the fifth Test at Melbourne in 1950

Reg Simpson: Batsman for England and Nottinghamshire whose swashbuckling style helped brighten the postwar years

In the postwar years of austerity there were few more attractive sights in English cricket than the Nottinghamshire batsman Reg Simpson. With a quick eye and the natural gift of timing he developed a back-foot technique that seemed to give him more time than anyone else against the fast bowlers. If they bowled bouncers he swayed effortlessly out of the way. If they pitched it up he drove them elegantly. Always he played with a positive spirit, prepared to embrace risk in pursuit of victory.

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

The Ashes 2013-14: Michael Carberry feels debt of gratitude to Shane Warne

Carberry hit an opening century in England's latest warm-up game

Jos Buttler has completed his move to Lancashire

Lancashire complete expected signing of England One-Day International wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after Somerset exit

The 23-year-old had been widely linked with a move to Old Trafford after his contract with his local side expired last week

Eoin Morgan will captain England's one-day side in Ireland

England to play India in rapid-fire five Test series in Summer 2014

As Morgan’s ODI side head to Ireland, ECB confirms contest which could decide No 1 status

Mark Stoneman
Alastair Cook
A shell-shocked Simon Kerrigan is comforted by England's senior spin bowler Graeme Swann

Kevin Garside on the Ashes: Australia feast on England's new boys as brutal Shane Watson flays Simon Kerrigan

There was no shortage of advice for the lad. Every punter in the gallery, even those in green and gold, would not have wished a repeat of the pre-lunch flogging administered to Simon Kerrigan. Pitch it up, son, bowl to your field and let fate take care of the rest.

John Townsend: Australia's odd couple stand and deliver at last

The Aussie Angle: Painstaking partnership for fifth wicket puts visitors in control

Michael Clarke and Shane Watson pictured during the second Test

The Light Roller: There is no easy way back for these Aussies

The captain does his best to stay positive but the coach seems to forget that the state of Australian cricket has changed dramatically since his playing days

Ian Bell steers the ball away during the Adelaide Test in 2010

Ian Bell: My highs and lows for England in the Ashes

View From the Middle, by Ian Bell of ESPN: I’ve felt in decent form but keep getting myself out

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform