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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas