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.

Five Questions About: Overdrafts

Money Insider: After chip and PIN, it's the contactless card revolution

It is almost five years since chip and pin was officially introduced in the UK, a payment mechanism that we now all take for granted. In fact, if you happen to visit parts of the world where this technology hasn't yet been implemented, it seems alien to have to sign to confirm your purchase.

England announce ODI against Ireland

England will face Ireland in a one-day international in Dublin next August.

Questions Of Cash: 'My e-ISA interest rate was too low'

Q. I opened an e-ISA with NatWest on 28 April 2009. At that time, it was the best ISA available that allowed transfers from existing ISAs. But I believe NatWest applied the wrong interest rate. I should have received 3 per cent or 3.26 per cent AER, but I received only its current rate of 2 per cent AER. I have sent two letters, but haven't received a reply to my second letter. DK, by email.

England players demand apology from Butt

The England team have demanded a "full and unreserved apology" from Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt and threatened legal action after he alleged they were involved in fixing the third one-day international at the Brit Oval.

Trott and Riaz in pre-match altercation

Jonathan Trott and Wahab Riaz were involved in a confrontation shortly before the start of today's fourth NatWest Series match at Lord's.

Leading article: A sad spectacle

The England and Wales Cricket Board has ruled that the last two matches of the one-day series – today and on Wednesday – will go ahead as planned, despite the cloud hanging over Friday's match at the Oval, which Pakistan won by 23 runs. One of the reasons it gave was that the claims about match-fixing do not relate to any England players – public confirmation of what everyone suspected, but no one wanted to say out loud. Thus was destroyed at a stroke the attempted even-handedness in which the initial suspicions were couched by the International Cricket Council.

Simon Read: Banks should be ashamed of how they treat their customers

Service from banks is getting worse. That's not just my view, it's demonstrated by the shocking figures published by the Financial Ombudsman Service this week that suggest that banks have simply given up dealing properly with complaints.

England call up Shahzad to cover Broad

Stuart Broad suffered discomfort in his groin during practice at the SWALEC Stadium today and England have called up Ajmal Shahzad as pace-bowling cover for their NatWest Twenty20 squad.

Pietersen dropped from England squad

Kevin Pietersen has been dropped from England's NatWest International Twenty20 and NatWest Series squads to face Pakistan, and will instead play for Surrey on loan for the remainder of the season.

Self-employed borrowers face tough times

The self-certification mortgage has all but disappeared, making it harder for people to get a home loan if they are unable to prove their income. Esther Shaw investigates

Money Insider: Cut overdraft costs with MBNA credit card

with the Government's cost-cutting strategy looming on the horizon, many people are already tightening their belts and preparing their own finances for what could be a bumpy couple of years.

London 'most cost-effective city for students'

London is the most cost-effective UK city in which to study, an annual student poll suggested today.

RBS to sell 318 branches to Santander

Royal Bank of Scotland announced today that it has reached a deal to sell 318 branches to Spanish banking giant Santander.

Strauss's one-day side remain a work in progress

Just hang fire on that ticker-tape parade and put the open-top bus back in the garage. Suddenly, thoughts of witnessing an Ashes and World Cup double in the space of a few months this coming winter look a touch optimistic, unless of course you happen to be Australian.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
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Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
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Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
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Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

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Harry Kane interview

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

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