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.

I can captain next Ashes tour in 2013, says Ponting

Australian arrives back home promising his desire to carry on is stronger than ever

Flintoff cameo takes the centre stage

Don't study the statistics, listen to the audience. Andrew Flintoff's flamboyant cameo in his final innings in Test cricket at the Oval yesterday means he finishes with a batting average of 31.77. The Big Man hit four boundaries, scoring 22 off 18 balls before holing out to long on, and left, as he had arrived not long before, to a standing ovation of unconditional fondness.

Pietersen adds to concerns as Murali quits five-day game

Sooner or later, and probably sooner, something will have to be done about Test cricket. Kevin Pietersen became the latest significant player yesterday to cast doubt on the status of the longest, purest form of the game.

James Lawton: England must hold nerve as they face ultimate test

It cannot be said that the cricketers of England and Australia are overburdened by expectation when a new Ashes series starts, quaintly, in Cardiff this morning. From the English perspective, at least, what began to happen at Lord's four years ago, when Glenn McGrath bowled like a god and his scattered opponents resolved, successfully, to fight back, is probably beyond reach.

Vaughan fumbles chance as Australian pair impress

Durham 311-4 dec MCC 126-7

England selection puzzle is complicated by Prior

England 351-8 dec President’s XI 157-6

Sport on TV: I would refer you to my learned friend Bob but he's got the ump

From referees to referrals. The FA's Respect campaign this season has produced exactly the opposite effect. Now Test cricket's effort to help umpires get decisions right is giving them the same pariah status as their football counterparts and prompting even more criticism in the commentary box. It's a good job Dickie Bird has retired, or else he would be getting in a terrible flap. The other men in white coats would be coming for him.

ECB debate role of Test cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board have begun considering the proposals for the future of Test match cricket following a summit meeting between influential figures in the game.

On the Front Foot: Clarke talks good game as ECB act to preserve future of Tests

In rural Leicestershire tomorrow, English cricket embarks on a noble course. As an initial part of an attempt to ensure that we do not all become slaves to Twenty20, a convention has been organised at which will be plotted a strategy to preserve Test cricket. It has not come a moment too soon but it shows that the England and Wales Cricket Board are taking their moral obligations seriously. Since they were also the organisation who agreed to play a Twenty20 match for$20 million, it may also be thought that this is the least they could do. But no matter. The fact is that nobody else is doing it – though the International Cricket Council have paid some lip service to the idea – and it demonstrates that Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, meant what he said during his opening remarks at the launch of the 2008 season. To wit: "We must ensure that we strive to preserve the future of Test cricket." The ICC are sending several representatives to the seminar including their cricket general manager, David Richardson. Five former England captains – Mike Gatting, Michael Atherton, Alec Stewart, Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan – will attend. The early session will deal with key issues, from player behaviour (not as bad as some would have you believe) to staging of matches (in one day in India recently, 29 minutes of play were lost while sightscreens were moved). The later session will deal with the business of cricket and player development. They will find that Twenty20 makes all the cash. A report should be written by the end of the week, with recommendations submitted to the ICC immediately. The sooner the better, because it will not be long before those concerned about Tests will have only one thing to say: "Hello, is there anybody out there?"

English cricket: Divided we fall

How Kevin Pietersen reacts to being back in the ranks will determine England's future. Angus Fraser explores the tensions that can split a dressing room

Runs in the bank with added interest for the accumulator

It has been like the old days, the ones he must have feared would never return. Andrew Strauss chaperoned England yesterday to within sight of a historic, wholly unexpected victory. His unbeaten 73 in England's second innings, to follow his 123 in the first innings, was clinical in method and execution. Throughout its six hours he played rigidly within his limitations.

Moores or less? Peter has some convincing to do

The England coach has been in the job for 18 months but has faded so much into the background he is hardly visible. Some think the team is lacking leadership and more poor results in India will put Moores under considerable pressure

One-day wonders: Pietersen wins battle but the war is far from over

Some words of warning for England. They have been in this place often before only to find it leading nowhere. To summon an example, almost at random, they defeated South Africa in the first match of the last series the sides played and were eventually hammered.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...