Untimely Bopara setback opens door for Bairstow

England will almost certainly havea new batsman for the start of the international summer on Thursday. Both Jonathan Bairstow and James Taylor have sound reasons for expecting the invitation to become the country's 652nd Test player, with Bairstow perhaps the selectors' preferred option.

Andrew Strauss hit 49 for Middlesex at Lord's yesterday

Round-up: Strauss begins slow recovery

Andrew Strauss eased a little closer to finding form ahead of the Test series against West Indies, although his 49 for Middlesex against Worcestershire at Lord's was not without incident.

Champions beaten again as Bears climb to the top

Warwickshire, pipped to the title by Lancashire on the last day of a dramatic 2011 County Championship, enjoyed a measure of revenge by inflicting a five-wicket defeat on the champions at a damp Liverpool yesterday.

Kevin Pietersen enjoys his superb match-winning century for Delhi

Day in the sun for Pietersen but it's a washout for Strauss

Having already declared his decision to play in the Indian Premier League to be the right one for his England career, Kevin Pietersen came up with spectacular justification in Delhi yesterday. While his England captain, Andrew Strauss, endured a day of frustration watching a washout at Lord's, Pietersen smashed his maiden Twenty20 century to propel Delhi Daredevils to a five-wicket win over Deccan Chargers.

Pietersen is one of just two England regulars participating in this year's IPL

Kevin Pietersen makes IPL claim

Kevin Pietersen believes England's lack of interest in the Indian Premier League is down to jealousy.

Phil Mustard says Durham should be reaching T20 finals day

Cutting the Mustard as a Twenty20 specialist

Durham's captain is just one of many county pros playing the shortest form of game all over world. He talks to Jon Culley

Lovely finish but bigger Tests await

The first part of England's cricketing winter went into meltdown with a 3-0 hammering by Pakistan, but the green shoots of springtime recovery arrived just in time yesterday when victory over Sri Lanka earned them a drawn series.

Switch hit causes sparks but Pietersen pyrotechnics light up day

Sri Lanka 275 & 4-0 England 460: England victory in sight after masterful ton

Trott walks after his dismissal for 112

England beaten by Sri Lanka despite Jonathan Trott century

England's miserable start to 2012 continued as they lost the first Test to Sri Lanka by 75 runs in Galle.

Ravi Bopara will not bowl in the series

Ravi Bopara 'unlikely to bowl during Test series'

England have been dealt a blow ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka, with all-rounder Ravi Bopara suffering a side injury that is expected to prevent him from bowling.

Failing bats a bigger issue than lizards

Sri Lanka XI 431-6 dec & 44-1 England 272-4 dec

Stuart Broad and Steven Finn pictured in Colombo

England toil as Stuart Broad returns

England suffered at the hands of centurion Chamara Silva on day one of their final pre-Test warm-up against a Sri Lankan Development XI.

MATTHEW FLEMING: Afghan women are often warned against playing cricket, says the former all-rounder

Afghan women look to emulate meteoric rise of the men's team

Being a woman in Afghanistan is not easy, being a woman in Afghanistan who wants to play cricket only ups the difficulty level. “Women,” says Diana Barakzai, “are victims of unacceptable rules that prevented them leaving the house.”

David Warner, of Australia, celebrates reaching his century against Sri Lanka in Brisbane

Warner gives Australia lead despite Sri Lanka's late flurry

David Warner smacked a swashbuckling 163 before Australia weathered a fierce fightback to secure a 15-run win over Sri Lanka in the first final of the one-day Tri-Series in Brisbane yesterday.

Jenny Gunn: The bowler took two wickets in helping England win the first one-day international in New Zealand

Gunn faces new inquiry into her bowling action

England seam bowler Jenny Gunn has been reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on account of her bowling action in the first one-day international against New Zealand.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
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Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor