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.

Cricket: World Cup call for Hussain

NASSER HUSSAIN has been called-up to join the England World Cup squad. The Essex captain, who replaces the injured Michael Atherton, will join his team-mates on 5 April, two days before England's first game against Pakistan in the Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah.

Cricket: Selectors may risk England's wounded trio

THE RESULTS of England's largest one-day experiment will essentially come to an end this morning at Lord's with the announcement of the 15- man squad for the World Cup and the tournament in Sharjah that precedes it.

Cricket: Lewis looms as second thoughts unsettle England

Stephen Brenkley says English cricket's tried and untrusted is in line for a recall

Cricket: Fraser still in England frame

A NEW England squad assembled here yesterday under new management, so naturally the bulk of the discussion on their arrival was concerned with those who were absent. The outcome seemed to be heartening for Angus Fraser, indifferent for Michael Atherton and irrevocably gloomy for Graham Thorpe.

Cricket: Headley makes an impression

Australia 67-3 v England

Cricket: ...And here are the headlines for 1999

Independent writers play the prediction game

Cricket: Bookmakers and batsmen: How the numbers add up in cricket

SPORTS BETTING is a growth area for bookmakers and cricket, very much a numbers game, lends itself particularly to the spread betting market. Julian Barkes, of Sporting Index, says the most popular market on the third Test, which starts in Adelaide tonight, is the spread on the numbers of runs a side will score in the first innings. Barkes said yesterday: "We won't fix the exact spread until we know who's won the toss. But England will be quoted at 300-320. If you think they will score more than that, you `buy' at that figure and, if you think they will score fewer, you `sell'." The more pounds per run the punter bets, the more they win or lose.

Cricket: Pressure on spine of England

THE SPATE of bad backs that continue to frustrate England's tour is showing no sign of abating. If losing a Test match in two and a half days was not damaging enough to morale, the injury to Graham Thorpe's lumbar region, the latest in an alarming list of players who cannot guarantee their fitness for more than a day at a time, has rounded off a miserable week in Perth. Any more setbacks and the Samaritans' hotline could well be busy.

CRICKET; England hierarchy happy with Atherton's hook

ENGLAND WILL instruct Michael Atherton to carry on hooking if he believes that is the best way to combat the new-ball threat of Glenn McGrath when their personal duel resumes in the second Test at the WACA tomorrow.

Cricket: Pain drain on Atherton

THE ENGLAND physiotherapist Wayne Morton yesterday revealed the full extent of the pain and discomfort that Michael Atherton has been forced to endure from a back problem which may rule him out of contention for the first Test.

Cricket: Back injury could rule Atherton out

Queensland 209 & 124 England 192 & 74-5

Cricket: Chance for Tudor to shine

ENGLAND'S FOUR injury doubts have checked in fit for today's match against South Australia.

Cricket: England opt for practice session

W Australia 334-8 dec & 268-3 dec England 321 & 192-4 Match drawn

Cricket: Hard graft for the holy grail

The Ashes: Only the best of teamwork, tactics and talent will end England's long wait for fulfilment

CRICKET: HENRY BLOFELD'S FIVE MEN OF THE SEASON

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