Sport

Warwickshire have defended their decision to re-brand the county as the Birmingham Bears for next season’s Twenty20 competition, itself spruced up and re-named the NatWest Twenty20 Blast.

Peter Fulton of New Zealand celebrates scoring 124 runs not out

New Zealand v England: Alastair Cook learns dangers of drop-in pitches and seeking a quick fix

Hosts reach 250 for the loss of just one wicket

Kevin Pietersen: The batsman was spoken to by the referee in the Mohali airport toilets

Will England miss Kevin Pietersen?

The batsman has been ruled out of the final Test against New Zealand, and is a concern for the Ashes

Jade Dernbach is now the most expensive bowler in ODI history

Dernbach to pay for costly ODI displays

After three browntop back-breakers in a row, England's bowlers could be forgiven for pining for the green, greentops of home. However, when they caught sight of the Mohali pitch for the first time yesterday, homesickness will have faded fast.

The Indian Angle: Rise of Pujara quells the foreboding over Tendulkar’s decline

In an age when T20 is king, he bats to the rhythms of an earlier generation

England's lack of spin twin fully exploited by Sehwag

India 323-4 v England: Swann wickets bring late cheer but India take control as tourists regret not picking Panesar

Cheteshwar Pujara hit a maiden Test ton against New Zealand

County Championship round-up: Panesar's six-wicket haul boosts his England claim

Sussex have their sights on knocking Warwickshire off the top of the First Division table after Monty Panesar added second-innings figures of six for 77 to go with Wednesday's career-best seven for 60 as Somerset were bowled out for 195.

Dismissed by my old Bears team-mate Dale Steyn at The Oval

Ian Bell: Win the first hour and we'll be back in the series

View From the Middle: Immediately after the loss in The Oval dressing room we talked about where we had gone wrong and how we could avoid such errors again

Graham Onions: The bowler chipped in with three wickets for Durham

Round-up: Stokes at the double as Durham win at last

Durham clinched their first LV County Championship Division One victory of the season after a 15-run win over Middlesex in a low-scoring contest at Chester-le-Street.

County Championship round-up: Troughton and Woakes keep runs coming

The First Division leaders Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire continue to make their case as principal contenders for the County Championship.

Graeme Smith is in line to become the most-capped Test captain

Evergreen Smith ready for third England scalp

Captains come and captains go. But Graeme Smith of South Africa seems to plough forever onward and upward. By the end of the series against England which begins at The Oval on Thursday, he will be the most enduring captain in Test history.

Andrew Strauss warmed up to face South Africa with a hundred

Pietersen and Strauss hit form ahead of South Africa

Former England captain smashes 234 while his successor also weighs in with unbeaten century

England to opt for Patel to fill Swann boots

If one-dayer even gets underway the all-rounder likely to get nod over Tredwell

Graeme Swann used his full box of tricks against the Australians

England bowler Graeme Swann rested for remainder of one-day series against Australia

Graeme Swann will miss England's final two matches in the NatWest Series against Australia to rest the sore elbow in his bowling arm.

Alastair Cook, England's captain, was frustrated yesterday

Rain at Edgbaston washes away England's No 1 spot and Warwickshire's hopes of a pay day

England were deprived last night of the opportunity to become the world's top ranked one-day side, when their match against Australia in Birmingham was called off because of rain. Although they are 2-0 ahead in the series they had to win all five scheduled matches if they were to head the International Cricket Council ratings for the first time.

James Anderson is all smiles at training last week before picking up his groin injury

Soft ground and Anderson will be a non-runner again

Woakes set to replace England swing bowler who can hardly get a game after being rested

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
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Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

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Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

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