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.

Ravi Bopara in action against Australia

Ravi Bopara: 'I'm batting as well as I ever have – those changes have worked'

Bopara stakes his claim for South Africa series as Swann shows passion for the one-day game

Andrew Strauss salutes the crowd after his dismissal for 45 yesterday

England will defend one-point lead in ICC Test rankings against South Africa

England will defend a one-point lead over South Africa at the top of the International Cricket Council's world Test rankings in this summer's three-match series between the two teams, it was officially confirmed today.

Tino Best celebrates becoming the first number 11 batsman to hit a half-century against England in over 100 years

Draw looms for West Indies despite Tino Best's record breaking heroics

Tino Best and Denesh Ramdin's last-wicket heroics stunned England at Edgbaston, but were still powerless to permanently revive the rain-ravaged third Investec Test.

Spring in his step: Graham Onions was in the wickets on his Test return

Bowlers battle each other while battering Windies

Stuart Broad looked cross when he learned that he was to be rested, along with James Anderson. When Andrew Strauss won the toss and said England would bowl, the game was turned into an entertaining trial between three pace bowlers determined to make a case for a role against South Africa next month.

Kevin Pietersen celebrated his century against Pakistan in Dubai in February but England must now do without him in ODIs

England 'better for having Kevin Pietersen out' claims Nick Knight

Nick Knight has risked a further deterioration in his already frosty relationship with Kevin Pietersen, by claiming England are likely to be better off without the latter in 50-over cricket.

A lone St George's flag as heavy rain prevents any play on day one

Rain rescues Broad but ECB left to count the cost

Extra day of rest means Notts all-rounder likely to play, while it's full refunds for the Edgbaston crowd

Kevin Pietersen has retired from England's limited-overs sides

Ian Bell: Unlike KP, I am desperate to get into the ODI team

We all respect Kevin Pietersen's decision to retire from one-day internationals and I understand that a player might want to prioritise. But it's not a call I feel I'm close to making.

Kevin Pietersen has retired from England's limited-overs sides

Ian Bell: Unlike KP, I am desperate to get back in ODI team

View From the Middle: In Tests, there is nowhere to hide. Somehow, Twenty20 cricket isn't the same

A dogged 66 from Durham's Ben Stokes underlined his credentials

County Championship round-up: Stokes fuels chase to replace Bairstow

Cool customer though Jonny Bairstow is, he may just have felt the icy blast of other batsmen's runs down his neck as he prepares for the Third Test. Ben Stokes, the extremely likely lad from Durham, made 66 yesterday for the improbable table-proppers against the table-toppers, Warwickshire.

James Anderson's absence spurs West Indies

West Indies' top order could do with a break as the tourists try to avoid a whitewash in the Investec Test series against England - and James Anderson's absence from the final match may have given them one.

Stephen Brenkley: Blame schedule for policy where no one wins

True to their declared policy, England yesterday rotated a fast bowler. With the team already 2-0 up in the series of three Tests against West Indies, Jimmy Anderson had to turn on his heel and away from the England dressing room.

Yorkshire’s Andrew Gale hits out during the Pro40 fixture against Kent at Headingley yesterday

Pro-40 Round-up: Netherlands up and running as Stephanus Myburgh leads from the front

The Netherlands posted an impressive total of 239 for 6 in their first Clydesdale Bank Pro40 fixture of the season, against Gloucestershire yesterday. After losing the toss and being put in at Bristol, the Dutch reached their total thanks to Stephanus Myburgh's impressive 77, which featured 11 fours and two sixes, and Cameron Borgas's 38. Ed Young, who picked up 2 for 31, was the pick of Gloucestershire's bowlers.

Australia's Michael Clarke (right) is hugged by team-mate Nathan Lyon after taking the wicket of tailender Ravi Rampaul for 11

Tail wags but Clarke takes five to wrap up series win for Australia

Australia 328 & 259 West Indies 218 & 294 (Australia win by 75 runs)

Surrey fall apart to hand Notts the early ascendancy

Nottinghamshire established themselves as the early leaders in the County Championship, completing a second victory in as many matches as both Surrey and Somerset fell short in their attempts to do likewise.

Fiery Adams: The New Zealander kept himself warm with 3 for 19

County Championship round-up: Notts shrug off the April cold to put the heat on Durham

They may be hardy folk in the north-east, but it was so cold at Chester-le-Street that six members of the Durham side fielded in woolly hats in an effort to fend off hypothermia as Nottinghamshire built a winning position.

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links