Mark Steel: Ashes series are such an awful addiction my family have learnt coping methods

My Ashes: During that 1982 match that England won by three runs I was living in a filthy squat. We huddled around the radio amid the mould

Ian Bell impresses for England

Ian Bell once again repaid the faith of England's selectors with a deeply impressive hundred against Australia A at the Bellerive Oval today.

Gooch: We're not here for the beer or beaches... just the Ashes

For Graham Gooch it all started in the Ashes 35 years ago. He went out at Edgbaston as the rough-round-the-edges kid who had been blazing a trail down Essex way and made a pair. And now here he is as England's batting coach on this tour.

Golden boy is back with a display of all-round brilliance

Broad stakes claim to move back up order for Ashes this winter

Broad gets his name on Lord's board and puts one over on dad

Stuart Broad last night had 101 good reasons to celebrate his maiden Test century at the home of cricket – a hundred chanceless runs plus one entry on the batting honours board which his father, Chris, will now view with a lot of pride and a little bit of envy.

Adebayor: 'I know what I want now – it can make me a bit awkward'

Near-death experience has left Adebayor with sense of perspective about struggle to find favour at City

Pietersen's slump in form begins to worry England as thoughts turn to Ashes

In the days when Kevin Pietersen was on top of the world, there was mild concern about a tendency to recklessness. How gratifying it would be to revisit that particular worry.

Sporting Heroes of Essex and East London 1960-2000, by Dr Phil Stevens

Despite the narrow focus suggested by the title, by placing two of England's titans of the period – Bobby Moore and Graham Gooch – at the book's core, Phil Stevens has broadened its appeal.

Centurion Cook hails Gooch's influence

As one opening batsman from Essex took a significant step towards international rehabilitation yesterday, he paid handsome tribute to one of his most illustrious predecessors. Alastair Cook made his 10th Test hundred for England and he made it clear that he might not have done so without the guidance of Graham Gooch, a player who scored twice as many.

Pietersen seeks home comfort for inspiration

England hope family and familiar environment will help batsman find form

Business Diary: Aeroflot skates on thin ice to build brand

Aeroflot has spent the past few years trying to improve its image, and hopes its latest move will help to complete the process. It has signed up as sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. And before you scoff, you might like to reflect on the fact that the semi-privatised airline is now close to being the most profitable such company in the world.

Essex boys' country stroll runs West Indies ragged

England 302-2 v West Indies

Australians revel in England cricket debacle

The Australian press have reacted with glee to the latest turmoil in English cricket - just six months ahead of this summer's Ashes series.

Cricket, Lovely Cricket?, by Lawrence Booth

Howzat! An enthusiast's guide to the highs and lows of being a cricket fan

Hick the run machine calls time on career

An era in English cricket ended yesterday when Graeme Hick, the most prolific run scorer of the past 25 years, announced that he will retire at the end of this season.

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Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
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The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
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Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
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