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.

Andrew Flintoff of England looks dejected as Brett Lee (L) and Glenn McGrath hold on in 2005

Ashes 2013: England v Australia - top five moments at Old Trafford

The Manchester ground plays host to the third Test

The Duckworth Lewis Method

Gig review: The Duckworth Lewis Method, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London

“We're not doing a cheese album,” quips Neil Hannon, sporting a Carry On Up the Jungle pith helmet to his fellow satirist, Thomas Walsh, who appears to be channelling WG Grace with his weighty beard.

Shikhar Dhawan, left, was the undoubted star at the Champions Trophy

James Lawton: Shikhar Dhawan's explosive arrival proves Champions Trophy is a tournament worthy of being saved

He pummelled his first ball after the rain break high and square for a six

County Championship round-up: Michael Hogan's a hero for Glamorgan to become latest wizard of Oz

Bowler of the day Everywhere in the County Championship, there seems to be an Australian fast bowler taking wickets, reinforcing the view that the ones picked for the Ashes had better be good. Yesterday it was the turn of Michael Hogan, the 31-year-old from Newcastle, New South Wales finishing with seven for 92 for Glamorgan against Gloucestershire at Bristol, which gave him 34 for the season, just three fewer than his compatriot, Steve Magoffin, who is the leading wicket-taker in the country. Hogan, who did not enter first-class cricket until he was 28 and is playing for Glamorgan on a British passport, having given up his ambition of playing for Australia when it became clear the selectors wanted youth. Coach Justin Langer made strenuous efforts to keep him in Perth, where he was contracted until last winter, to no avail.

A photo issued by Durham Police of (left to right) Susan McGoldrick, her sister Alison Turnbull and Alison's daughter Tanya Turnbull

'Systemic shortcomings' by police allowed gunman with history of domestic abuse to shoot dead three female members of his family

Coroner demands gun licensing overhaul over killer Michael Atherton, who legally owned six weapons

IPCC condemn police failings over man who shot dead three women after being allowed to keep guns - despite complaints of domestic violence

A man who shot dead three women had been allowed to keep his guns by police despite complaints of domestic violence and then threatening to shoot himself, according to a report seen by the BBC.

Triple killer 'allowed to keep guns' despite complaints

A man who shot dead three women had been allowed to keep his guns by police despite complaints of domestic violence and threats to shoot himself, according to a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission seen by the BBC.

Batsman Andrew Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss retires from professional cricket

Andrew Strauss today described his decision to step down as England Test captain as being in the "best interest" of the national team.

We've done it! Chelsea players show their joy on a night of huge celebration

Robin Scott-Elliot: Holding's honeyed growl drowned out by Sky's Chelsea cheerleaders

View From The Sofa: Test Cricket, Sky / Champions League final, Sky/ITV

Strauss has seen England lose the last four Tests

England captain Andrew Strauss frustrated by winter struggles

England Test captain Andrew Strauss has expressed his frustration at having his players defend him following his lengthy run without a century and his team's poor form on the sub-continent.

England captain Andrew Strauss: 'I feel in good form but
I haven't performed well enough'

Defiant Strauss: I'm not stepping down in the middle of a series

He was disappointed and he was defiant. If he was going anywhere he was not saying so. It was neither the time nor the place. There was a series still on the line and, if it cannot be won by England now, it can be drawn.

Gun killer's taxi vandalised

A taxi belonging to Peterlee killer Michael Atherton has been vandalised outside the home where he murdered three people then shot himself.

Michael Atherton held licences for six weapons

Police seized guns from triple murderer – then gave them back

Durham police under scrutiny for decision after family member raised concerns

Stepdaughter escapes from window as New Year gunman shoots family

A taxi driver who murdered his partner, her sister and her sister's daughter before shooting himself at the family home on New Year's Day held licences for six weapons and was known to police from three years earlier after threatening to harm himself.

Ponting sees his power draining away as Strauss reigns

Since the destiny of the Ashes was decided it has been fascinating to observe the two captains. Andrew Strauss is the undisputed commander-in-chief of the England team and nothing that happens in Sydney this week will change that.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on