Sport

Diary of a cricket obsessive

ICL players face Twenty20 Champions League ban

English teams that succeed in qualifying for the multimillion-dollar Twenty20 Champions League must leave out any players who participated in the non-sanctioned Indian Cricket League or be barred from the September to October competition, Indian officials said yesterday.

Surrey 326 & 227 Somerset 446 & 111-2: Hurry's work ethic helps Somerset rush to the top

That Somerset have marched up the County Championship to the top of the First Division should surprise no one, given the nature of the two men leading them.

Close Report: Surrey 326 & 227; Somerset 446 & 111-2

Somerset (22pts) beat Surrey (6pts) by eight wickets

Lunch Report: Surrey 326 & 227; Somerset 446 & 94-2

Lunch on the final day of four (Surrey won toss) - Victory target: 108 off a minimum of 77 overs

County Championship round-up: Stevens spearheads Kent recovery after sticky start

Kent were rescued by the experienced Darren Stevens (127) and the South African Martin van Jaarsveld (103) in their Division One game against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. In a perilous position at 44 for 3, having lost captain Robert Key (21), Kent relied on the contrasting styles of the watchful Van Jaarsveld and the more expansive Stevens to reach 294 for 4.

County Championship round-up: Trescothick and Langer undo Kent's hard graft

The First Division game at Tunbridge Wells is bubbling up nicely after a century partnership between two old Ashes foes, Marcus Trescothick and Justin Langer, helped Somerset reach 157 for 2 and a lead of 92 over Kent. Trailing by 65 on the first innings, the visitors stormed back thanks to an unbeaten 71 from Trescothick off 146 balls, while Langer bounced back from a rare golden duck first up to hit 42. Earlier, Martin van Jaarsveld's 95 had helped take Kent beyond the Somerset total.

Strauss and Cook's hard graft lifts the gloom

There was a distinct absence of dancing in the streets when Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook were reinstated as England's opening batsmen. Good players, sound individual Test records but as a first-wicket partnership they had been notably inauspicious. On the list of English double acts they were mixing with Cannon and Ball not Morecambe and Wise.

Lunch Report: Lancashire 221-9 declared v Somerset 238 & 79-1 (29 overs)

Lunch on the fourth day (Somerset won toss), plus, Brad Hodge joins IPL

Lunch Report: Lancashire 103-3 (34 overs) v Somerset 238

Lunch on the second day (Somerset won toss)

Somerset 238 Lancashire 60-0: Flintoff shines to improve hopes of quick Test return

Never mind the trials of Michael Vaughan, the good news for England is that Andrew Flintoff continues to look in fine fettle. After a reintroduction against Surrey last week that was necessarily managed carefully, Lancashire let out the leash a little more yesterday. As a result, the all-rounder's prospects of playing in the first Test against New Zealand on 15 May can only have improved.

Tea Report: Lancashire v Somerset 195-7 (64 overs)

Tea on the first day (Somerset won toss)

Lunch report: Lancashire v Somerset 88-2 (32 overs)

Lunch on the first day (Somerset won toss)

Team-by-team guide: Division One

Somerset are good outside bet to claim title but drop looms for Hampshire

Trescothick takes the right decision

Those people with a true sense of perspective will be delighted to hear of Marcus Trescothick's decision to retire from international cricket.

Opening up: Trescothick declares

On an early Indian evening two years ago, England's then coach, Duncan Fletcher, sat on the Baroda outfield and delivered a brief, sombre announcement. Marcus Trescothick, the team's prodigious opening batsman and all-round good guy, would be going home for personal reasons. It would be appreciated if his privacy could be respected.

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