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.

Dominic Lawson: Cricket has never been just cricket

Fans are intensely idealistic about the game they love; but many players see what they do as simply the grind of earning a crust for themselves and their families

Can Strauss mastermind a final act of resistance?

Famous series victory awaits England if they can thwart fierce South African attack

England 'lucky' to escape ball-tampering charges

Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes England were fortunate to get away without official sanction over the 'ball-tampering' row, but predecessor Michael Atherton has criticised South Africa for over-reacting.

Angus Fraser: Batting buddies were a net loss in my day

It worked for Panesar, but when batsmen mentor tail-enders, sparks can fly

England hit form but Australia lie in wait

Andrew Strauss may be right to believe that winning cricket matches is the ideal preparation for winning more, but if he thinks that a 2-0 whitewash of the West Indies is anything more than a useful warm-up for the Ashes, he need only take a look around his county dressing room.

'I've knuckled down, so now let me play,' pleads Harmison

Stephen Harmison last night pleaded with the England selectors to pick him for tomorrow's crucial third Test against South Africa. When Harmison was dropped by England on their tour of New Zealand many believed he had made his last international appearance, but the débâcle of Headingley and a desperate desire to triumph in a must-win Test have encouraged the selectors to return to their former enforcer in the hope that he can rediscover the form that made him the most feared fast bowler in the world.

Paul Collingwood: I am always under pressure. Everyone always said I was not good enough

The run-out controversy against New Zealand last month has capped a difficult year for Paul Collingwood but, out of form and with his Test place under threat, he tells Glenn Moore that he is confident he can respond in typically belligerent fashion

Alan Dargin: Inventor of rock'n'roll didgeridoo

The Australian yirdaki (didgeridoo) player Alan Dargin invented a uniquely fast, powerful, non-traditional style, dubbed "rock'n'roll didgeridoo". At his favourite busking site on Sydney's Circular Quay, he was a familiar figure to tourists and locals alike for two decades. He recorded five albums with various colleagues and travelled widely outside Australia, performing in the US, Japan and Europe, in 1993 playing the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. His most widely seen appearance was as an actor, however, with a cameo role in the 1994 movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Eriksson set to defy Ferguson on return of Rooney

Sven Goran Eriksson had a serious dispute with Sir Alex Ferguson over Wayne Rooney's fitness on Wednesday and he is now prepared to defy the Manchester United manager once again - and the advice of the country's leading orthopaedic surgeon - by risking the player in the group stages of the World Cup finals.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore