Sport

What a fine mess English cricket finds itself in. Yet for supporters of a certain age, the last two months in Australia have just been a return to normal service.

Australia batsman George Bailey has admitted taking some 'pride' in seeing England struggle

ODI series: George Bailey admits 'pride' in England troubles as Australia continue to make life difficult for struggling tourists

The departure of Steven Finn saw the bowler become the third player to leave the Tour Down Under after Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann both returned home early

Kevin Pietersen
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has refused to comment on the Kevin Pietersen debacle as England's calamitous series continues

Ashes 2013-14: Darren Lehmann refuses to get caught up in Kevin Pietersen debate as he continues to mastermind England's downfall

Australia coach admits it is not for him to comment ahead of the five-match ODI series and two Twenty20 fixtures

The Sport Matrix: Thursday 9 January 2014

City make plans for Wembley after hammer horror

Chris Woakes has been added to England's squad for the one-day international series against Australia

Ashes 2013-14: England call-up Chris Woakes for one-day series with a number of Test flops set to be rested

England will head into the five-match series off the back of a Test whitewash with calls for new faces to be merged into the squad

No England player reached 50, with Ben Stokes, who took six for 99 on day one, the top scorer with 47

Ashes 2013-14: England face worst Ashes whitewash

Of the three 5-0 defeats inflicted by Australia this is the biggest disaster as tourists’ batting crumbles once again and captain Alastair Cook looks like he has no more give

Spin bowler Scott Borthwick has been linked with an England call-up for the final Ashes test

The Light Roller: Will the New Year herald a new start for England?

Diary of a cricket obsessive

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow could not explain why England had suffered yet another batting collapse in the Fourth Test

Ashes 2013-14: Jonny Bairstow lost for words in explaining England's dire batting performance that could cost them Test win

Having been 65-0, England collapsed once again to finish their second innings 179 all-out and set Australia 231 for victory

England celebrate after Stuart Broad takes the wicket of Ryan Harris late on day two

Ashes 2013-14: At last, England find discipline with ball to rattle the Aussies

England lead by 91 runs: Stokes adds depth to tourists’ bowling after Pietersen baffles again with poor shot

Ryan Harris celebrates the dismissal of Ian Bell on day one of the Fourth Test
Ian Bell in the nets ahead of the Fourth Ashes Test against Australia at the MCG

Ian Bell on Ashes 2013-14: I don't think anyone expected the series to be over so quick, but we'll be back

Australia have out-played us in every department so far

Kevin Pietersen of England leaves the field after being dismissed by Nathan Lyon of Australia during day four of the Third Ashes Test Match

Ashes 2013-14: Kevin Pietersen has 'less than zero interest' in Graeme Swann's remark about people being 'up their own backsides'

The retiring spin bowler appeared to aim a parting shot - although at exactly who is somewhat unclear

Graeme Swann announces his decision to retire from international and first-class cricket

Ashes 2013-14: Graeme Swann denies those 'up their own backsides' are among the England side

The retired spin bowler appeared to be taking a swipe at the team he leaves behind in Australia

Ricky Ponting believes England are

Ashes 2013-14: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting claims England are 'past it' and calls for star names to be dropped

Retired Ponting feels that England showed they were on the decline in the summer Ashes Series which has continued to show Down Under

David Warner is the top scorer in the current Ashes series and has moved up to 11th in the world

Ashes 2013-14: David Warner overhauls Alastair Cook and Ian Bell in ICC rankings

David Warner has leapfrogged the England duo Ian Bell and Alastair Cook up to 11th place in the new ICC Test rankings for batsmen after helping Australia to reclaim the Ashes in Perth.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain