There was, for the first time in his Test career and perhaps his life, a moment’s hesitation in Ben Stokes. He had come off the field after taking 6 for 99 in his fourth Test match and was asked if he relished the fray.

Andrew Flintoff: 'I still think I'll get back to the top'

'Freddie' will not be fit until July, but he tells Chris Brereton he hasn't given up on his goal to be the world's best one-day player

Robin Scott-Elliot: Princess Anne goes missing ahead of duelling pundits

View From The Sofa: Six Nations Rugby/A League Of Their Own, BBC1/Sky 1

Alison Shepherd: My Preston, the Paris of the North

Our writer is thrilled by her home town's racy new image

Sport on TV: Nolan brothers' neigh-sayers leave us feeling a little hoarse

You don't often hear it straight from the horse's mouth. Normally Clare Balding is in the way, getting it straight from a jockey's mouth even if there's barely a tooth on show. But she's busy with our other four-footed friends on More 4's Crufts coverage. On Race Horses (BBC4, Thursday) and Barbados at the Races (BBC4, Tuesday), both produced by Cutting Edge, it was a case of four legs better than two.

Moores looks forward to Flintoff return

Lancashire coach Peter Moores has "no doubt at all" that Andrew Flintoff will play again.

Leading article: Back row driver

In these jaded times, the news that a sportsman has been arrested for silly behaviour while in his cups tends to provoke a weary yawn. If our interest is to be piqued, what is required is some unusual and memorable detail.

Flintoff appeals for Old Trafford development

Andrew Flintoff has appealed for cricket fans to petition Trafford Council to support Lancashire's redevelopment plans for Old Trafford.

Flintoff aims to play in all forms of game for Lancashire this summer

Andrew Flintoff said last night that he intends to play all games for Lancashire next season after further routine knee surgery earlier this week. The procedure went better than Flintoff expected and although his original intention was to play only one-day cricket for the county he said his goals had now moved. He will, however, miss the Indian Premier League in April.

Youngsters free to speak their minds in captain's new model army

Over the next five days England will endeavour to win a gripping Test series which will define Andrew Strauss's brave new era. If the tourists can prevail against South Africa in the fourth Test at The Wanderers starting today it will lay the ghosts of teams and times past.

Kallis' dodgy ribs means hosts are undercooked

The fate of a series could depend on events in Potchefstroom today. By this evening, maybe earlier but not much later, South Africa will know whether their star all-rounder Jacques Kallis will be fit for the First Test.

Bresnan wants to fill Flintoff role

Tim Bresnan cuts an increasingly confident figure in England's one-day international team - but he hopes to prove plenty more about his ability to himself and others.

Bresnan slots in as fears over the key man subside

So far, so routine for England. No tour would be complete, indeed no tour could begin, without an injury scare to a major player. It duly arrived in the nick of time yesterday. Stuart Broad, a key member of the party in all forms of the game, had his right arm put into a sling and was packed off to hospital for a scan.

Lancashire seal Flintoff deal

Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes is confident Andrew Flintoff will be fit to fulfil his new contract.

England hopes rest on Broad shoulders

Stuart Broad's progress is likely to be one of the key factors in the coming months as England seek to ensure history does not repeat itself with another Ashes-winning hangover.

Locals aim to make it too hot for Trott

England's 'South African' contingent can expect a hostile reception and a tough winter
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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