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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste