Sport Kevin Pietersen can either wait for the IPL auction next month or play county cricket in England

There are rumours that the batsman's England career is over

Mitchell Johnson claimed four wickets on the first day against Sri Lanka

Mitchell Johnson bags 200th wicket

Mitchell Johnson put in a timely pre-Ashes performance with a four-wicket haul to take him to 200 career scalps and help dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 156 on the first day of the second Test in Melbourne.

Tillakaratne Dilshan may retire from Tests

The veteran opener Tillakaratne Dilshan has revealed he is thinking about calling time on his Test career.

MS Dhoni hit the winning runs to quell calls for his resignation

MSDhoni makes wayward England pay as Eoin Morgan starts with Twenty20 defeat

England 157-6 India 158-5 (India win by five wickets): India regain winning touch as the tourists’ bowlers are punished for their indiscipline

Australia claim late wickets to earn victory over Sri Lanka

Australia win first Test in Hobart

IoS paperback review: Chinaman, By Shehan Karunatilaka

First class-cricket yarn will bowl you over

M.I.A.: Singer, political activist and now an artist

Her glittering music career may have grabbed the headlines, but her new book, a vibrant collection of collages, photos and prints, reveals an artist of wide-ranging talents. Gillian Orr meets her

Ricky Ponting led Australia to 48 wins in 77 Tests as captain

Kevin Garside: Everyman Ponting bows out as legend of Australian grit

You need a rope and crampons to scale the stats mountain he compiled

Steve Harmison of England celebrates taking the wicket

Tour parties: England's best recent wins abroad

Colombo 2001

James Wharton: 'I'm a local lad, this is my home and it’s a huge opportunity to represent a community you feel a part of'

Shortly after James Wharton dramatically won the Tory party’s only seat in the North-East two years ago – and it was by a hairline majority of 332 votes – he gave an interview to his local paper in which he explained how he was sleeping on a friend’s floor following his move to Westminster.

Kevin Pietersen - the most controversial England player of recent times

Flower backs batsmen to come good by tour’s end

Coach asks to be judged after four Tests but is at a loss as to why 2012 has been a poor year with bat

This Sri Lanka massacre shows UN has not learned from its failures in Rwanda

Operatives allowed themselves to be bullied by a murderous government

Protesters outside the United Nations office in Kuala Lumpur in 2009

UN 'failed to protect' hundreds of thousands of civilians caught up in Sri Lankan civil war

The United Nations failed miserably to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians caught up in the last months of Sri Lanka’s civil war, says an internal inquiry.

Graeme Swann flies back to England from India tour

Graeme Swann is expected to play in the first Test against India despite returning to England to be with his ill daughter.

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Where to go in 2013

Pakistan unveils bullet-proof buses for cricketers in bid to end boycott

Determined to end the boycott of their country by international teams, Pakistan's cricket authorities have announced plans to buy a fleet of armoured buses to protect visiting players against attacks. They will also build a new high-security stadium in the nation's capital.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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