Michael Atherton

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.

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.