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.

Smith spell fires Lancashire title hopes

Tom Smith took four wickets for just seven runs as Lancashire's bowlers needed only 55 minutes to wrap up their vital 98-run victory over Worcestershire in the County Championship at Blackpool on Saturday.

County round-up: Wonderful Woakes leads the rout of Hampshire

Corporate folk have a thing about rebranding, even when it seems quite unnecessary. Just as Marathon once inexplicably became Snickers, so the City End at Edgbaston is now the Birmingham End. Perhaps it is so spectators still taking in the unfamiliar view from the top of the enormous new pavilion don't forget where they are.

England on top as rain ruins first day

England finished a drastically truncated first day of the fourth npower Test at The Oval with a useful initial advantage over India.

James Anderson eases England injury fears

James Anderson bowled for half-an-hour during England's net session this morning without apparent discomfort from his "minor" thigh injury.

Neal Abberley: Cricketer who served Warwickshire as player and coach for nearly 50 years

The term county stalwart might have been invented for Neal Abberley who, for almost 50 years, served Warwickshire County Cricket Club with unswerving devotion. As a player he enjoyed considerable success, winning the Gillette Cup in 1966 and 1968 and bringing the County Championship back to Edgbaston in 1972. Later he proved an inspirational coach, successfully nurturing generations of aspiring young cricketers.

Five captains, 78 players and three coaches: How England finally hit No 1

India 224 & 244 England 710-7 dec (England win by an innings and 242 runs): They were rock bottom in '99 but now Strauss' heroic team are on top of the world due to fitness, resolve and central contracts

Flower insists this is just the start of something bigger

Becoming top dogs is mission accomplished but there are now more targets on the horizon

On the Front Foot: Edgbaston's passion for the past is a lesson for the future

In securing their future, it is heartening to see Warwickshire have remembered their past. An integral part of the £32 million redevelopment of the Pavilion End at Edgbaston is the cricket museum. In it, the rich history of the club and the ground are told simply, straightforwardly and accessibly. Artefacts are few and far between but the storyboards lining the walls, taped recollections and old film footage provide an insight in to the deeds and players of the past.

Joyful England soar to summit

Ruthless display from Anderson sparks another Indian collapse to take home side to No 1 spot in Test rankings

Run machine Cook hits epic 294 to leave India reeling

India: 224 & 35-1 England: 710-7 dec: Opener's concentration and craftsmanship put England on the brink of series victory

Cook steers England closer to comfortable victory

India 224 & 35-1 v England 710-7 - England lead by 451

England's show of power brings hapless tourists to their knees

India 224 England 456-3

England dominate despite Dhoni resistance

England enjoyed another dominant day against India by bowling the tourists out for 224 on the first day of the third test at Edgbaston before closing on 84 without loss.

Strauss: this game can show not everything in the country is bad

England intend to use the third Test match to put a smile back on the country's face. If they defeat India to go 3-0 ahead in the series, they will lend official status to the unofficial billing they have had for some while as the best team in the world but Andrew Strauss, their captain, yesterday saw a much broader appeal.

Global riot reaction: Safety fears from Europe, satisfaction from Iran

Shock, surprise and just the merest hint of schadenfreude marked world reaction to the rioting that has swept through London and other British cities.

Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
Former ‘Daily Mirror’ editor Piers Morgan
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
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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

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
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?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game