Sport Jos Buttler of the Renegades bats during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat on 30 December 2013

The Big Bash has been a smash hit. If the plethora of staff and officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board who have been in and out of Australia at various times during the past three months have learned nothing from it, they have been wasting their time.

Racing during the 2012 Cheltenham festival when, a court heard, businessman Curtis Woodman hired the Embassy Club in Cheltenham to entertain racegoers

Cheltenham lapdancers 'kidnapped nightclub boss to get £42,000 payment'

A group of lapdancers kidnapped and beat a nightclub boss after he failed to pay them more than £42,000, a court heard.

Santander will offer a range of fee-free Help to Buy mortgage products

Santander unveils help to buy mortgage deal

The battle to offer low-deposit mortgages stepped up today after a lender unveiled new deals under the Government's Help to Buy scheme and another announced plans to join the initiative.

MBNA opens the door to a credit card price war

MBNA has fired the first shot in what is predicted to be a major credit card price war in 2014.

Outlook: Back-to-the-future banking on the cards at HSBC – or is that Midland?

Outlook: The bank has reportedly sounded out investors about the partial flotation of its UK bank

'We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience,' said Susan Allen, RBS director of customer relations

Bank failed to invest properly in IT systems for decades, boss admits after NatWest and RBS Cyber Monday card glitch

Embarrassing failure left customers unable to use credit and debit cards for three hours

'We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience,' said Susan Allen, RBS director of customer relations

NatWest and RBS Cyber Monday card glitch:
Bank faces millions of pounds of compensation claims after chief executive admits 'decades' of under-investment in IT systems

Technical failure left customers unable to use credit and debit cards for three hours while the banks’ websites and smartphone apps were also affected

MPs criticise George Osborne’s £12bn Help to Buy plan for risking housing bubble and distorting recovery

George Osborne’s £12bn scheme to help first-time buyers could backfire by creating a housing bubble and distorting the economic recovery, MPs warned the Chancellor last night.

Jos Buttler has completed his move to Lancashire

Lancashire complete expected signing of England One-Day International wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after Somerset exit

The 23-year-old had been widely linked with a move to Old Trafford after his contract with his local side expired last week

Money Insider: Steer clear of big banks' high rates on small loans

Interest rates are at rock bottom if you're in the market for a five-figure personal loan from your bank. But if you apply to borrow a smaller sum you'll be in for a nasty surprise.

Jos Buttler hits out against Australia in Cardiff

England vs Australia ODI: Anything is possible for Jos Buttler the fearless

Series still to play for after another thrilling innings from England’s fastest run-maker

Ashley Giles must decide whether to continue with Kevin Pietersen as opener when Alastair Cook and Ian Bell return

England stand by Michael Carberry as series fizzles out

The time has almost come for Australia’s tour of England to end. It will be a merciful release. The arrival of autumn and the familiarity of the teams have conspired to lend a perfunctory air to the later proceedings.

Ashley Giles was not amused at Tuesday’s press conference

Ashley Giles calls his mate Michael Vaughan 'harsh' for dig at selection

Coach knocks former captain for criticising squad ahead of third ODI against Australia

Fawad Ahmed and David Campese

Fawad Ahmed will not be distracted by David Campese comments say Australia

Australia's Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed is more likely to worry about his apparently questionable table-tennis skills than David Campese's suggestion that he should "go home".

Eoin Morgan smashes another six on the way to an impressive century at Malahide

Captain Eoin Morgan rouses England to seal winning return

Ireland 269-7 England 274-4 (England win by six wickets)

Stuart Broad kisses the urn

Stuart Broad labels Michael Vaughan 'disrespectful' over ODI comments

Former Test captain suggested fans should ask for a refund

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'