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Afghanistan considers that Pakistan holds significant influence over Taliban, who are believed to launch attacks from bases in the country

Rajan's Wrong-un: Battered Ponting is a Waugh victim

World cup diary

Andrew Flintoff returns to club cricket with Penwortham

Andrew Flintoff is on the verge of making a remarkable comeback after signing for Penwortham in Lancashire's Palace Shield.

Sports stars who revealed they were gay

England wicket-keeper Steven Davies has today revealed that he is gay, becoming the first cricketer to come out publicly.

Murray in the mood to make history

As two 23-year-olds lock horns in today's Australian Open final, the burden of expectation is on Andy's shoulders – but true Brit can take the weight

Prior relishing World Cup challenge

Matt Prior is confident he will prove the England selectors right following his recall for the World Cup.

Keith Andrew: Highly respected cricketer who captained Northamptonshire during the most successful period in their history

Cricket's wicketkeepers come in two types: the extrovert acrobats and the quiet, unnoticed ones who do it all with anticipation and deft glovework.

Dom Joly: Sir KP MP, knight in shining armour, at the service of a PM on a sticky wicket

Weird World of Sport: 'I could do the same for the economy as I do for cricket, storming out ofthe pavilion to sort everything out. You got a deficit? I'll just whack it out of the ground'

'We've been doing everything we can but they have outplayed us,' says Watson

Australia could have no complaints. They had none. Shane Watson, one of their partial successes in a wretched Ashes campaign, took it on the chin and then some.

Tendulkar battles to fine century

Sachin Tendulkar hit yet another century while Dale Steyn grabbed five wickets to set up a scintillating day three of the third Test at Newlands, which ended with two late Harbhajan Singh wickets reducing South Africa to 52 for 2.

ICC could turn to lie detector tests, Lorgat

International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat has not ruled out using lie detector tests for cricketers in a bid to rid the game of cheats.

Anderson stands tall as England's king of swing

There was once a quiet kid who bowled for England with shoulders like the economy.

Leading article: Australia in search of its phoenix

In the small hours of the morning in Britain, before lunch on the other side of the world, it was all euphoria among England fans and all despair among Australians. Where England were raising their champagne glasses, the Aussies were crying into their cups. Retaining, as opposed to simply winning, the Ashes is a feat achieved once in a generation. For the fortunate few, this was a moment to savour. Andrew Strauss and his team deserved their rapturous celebrations.

Australian media reaction to Ashes defeat

Australia's newspapers have been carrying out a post-mortem after England retained the Ashes with a crushing innings and 157-run victory in the fourth Test at the MCG.

England on verge of retaining the Ashes

England are closing in on the Ashes. After a third day of high excitement in front of a packed MCG they were left needing only four more Australian wickets to secure victory in the Fourth Test and ensure they retain the precious trophy won last year at home.

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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
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

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