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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