Ali Martin

Author's posts

Nov 22

Australia’s Ashes plans hit as Shaun Marsh joins Warner as first Test doubt

Glenn Maxwell called up to squad as cover for injured pairMarsh has a sore back with Warner suffering from a neck injuryAustralia have seen their plans thrown into jeopardy after being forced to fly in Glenn Maxwell as batting cover on the eve of the f…

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Nov 18

How to win in Australia: frustrate Warner and go for jugular with Smith

The former South Africa coach Russell Domingo reveals the plans behind his side’s series victory in Australia without AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn a year agoHow to win in Australia? It is the pre-Ashes question that prompts past English triumphs to be…

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Nov 03

Go easy on Ben Stokes when it comes to cricket punishment, says Mike Brearley

• Former England captain ‘saddened by eruption … but he’s a human being’• Brearley says England’s Ashes hopes hinge on Stokes playing – ‘I think he’s key’Mike Brearley, the respected former England captain, has called for a degree of clemency when the …

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Oct 30

Jonny Bairstow delighted with role of England’s man for all sessions

Yorkshire’s wicketkeeper-batsman looks forward to his second Ashes tour in a very different situation from that of his firstIn the precious few weeks between the end of England’s busiest ever international summer and the team’s departure for Australia …

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Oct 28

Chris Woakes ready to step up and fill the gap for England in the Ashes | Ali Martin

After an injury-hit summer, the bowler is fully fit and has backed himself to move up the batting order to help replace Ben Stokes against AustraliaChris Woakes has set himself a target of scoring plenty of runs in the upcoming Ashes as, not for the fi…

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Oct 05

Durham feel squeeze after Mark Wood’s central England deal is downgraded

• Fast bowler returns to payroll after England scale back to white-ball contract
• Parachute payment from ECB will ease concerns for embattled Durham

Mark Wood has been downgraded from a full England central contract to a white ball-only deal. But while this means the fast bowler will now return to the payroll at Durham, the county are phlegmatic about the impact it will have on their tight finances.

The 27-year-old returned from a third ankle operation at the start of the 2017 season and went on to have a significant impact for England’s one-day team during the first half of the summer. He bowled with pace and claimed a raft of high-profile scalps that included Hashim Amla, Kane Williamson, David Warner and Steve Smith en route to the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Related: Why Test cricket still needs its fifth day | The Spin

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Sep 29

England clamp down on player behaviour after Ben Stokes affair

• Joe Root and Stuart Broad pull out of Jos Buttler’s Amsterdam stag do
• Andrew Strauss understood to have ‘lightly pushed’ others to withdraw

England have moved to clamp down on player behaviour in the aftermath of the Ben Stokes affair with Joe Root and Stuart Broad among members of the Ashes squad to have pulled out of Jos Buttler’s stag do in Amsterdam this weekend after encouragement by the team management.

Stokes and Alex Hales are missing the social trip to the Netherlands as they are due in for further police questioning in the coming days. It follows the altercation in Bristol in the early hours of Monday that has led to the pair being suspended on full pay and left England in crisis.

Related: Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow rocket England to ODI victory over West Indies

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Sep 26

James Vince and Gary Ballance set to be named in England’s Ashes squad

• Hampshire batsman gets the nod but Tom Westley misses out
• Craig Overton, Ben Foakes and Mason Crane included

James Vince and Gary Ballance will be the chief beneficiaries when England name their Ashes squad on Wednesday after the selectors recalled the two batsmen and cut Tom Westley.

A 16-man squad will be announced at The Oval before the fourth one-dayer against West Indies with an uncapped trio of Craig Overton, Ben Foakes and Mason Crane also in the party for the five-Test series in Australia that begins in Brisbane on 23 November.

Related: England strive to solve Ashes puzzle with key pieces still missing | Vic Marks

Related: Joe Root’s reluctance to bat No3 leaves England selectors in a tangle | The Spin

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Sep 22

Toby Roland-Jones out of England’s Ashes squad after back injury diagnosis

• Middlesex fast bowler pulled up during match against Lancashire
• Eoin Morgan backs Alex Hales and Jos Buttler for Ashes squad

Toby Roland-Jones will be missing from England’s Ashes squad when it is named on Wednesday morning after the Middlesex seamer was diagnosed with a stress fracture to his lower back with only a week of the season remaining.

It is a cruel blow for the 29-year-old, whose breakthrough international summer of 17 wickets from four Tests, including eight on debut against South Africa at The Oval, demonstrated his accuracy and bounce that made him certain to be heading to Australia at the end of October.

Related: Haseeb Hameed’s Ashes hopes dashed after injury to right hand

Related: County cricket: Yorkshire beat Warwickshire, Surrey v Somerset – live!

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Sep 20

Andrew Strauss says Ian Botham ‘100% wrong’ over England selection panel

• Director of cricket defends ‘outstanding’ Mick Newell and Angus Fraser
• Durham chairman said selectors from counties create conflict of interest

Andrew Strauss has defended the make-up of his England selection panel and said Sir Ian Botham is “100% wrong” if he thinks the two county directors on the panel use their positions to help sign players.

Botham, the Durham chairman, questioned whether there was a conflict of interest after the all-rounder Paul Coughlin joined Nottinghamshire through a £20,000 buyout clause in his contract – a move that means he will play under Mick Newell, who both heads cricket operations at Trent Bridge and sits on the England panel.

Related: Ian Botham calls for transfer system after Durham lose Paul Coughlin

Related: Jonny Bairstow century guides England to routine ODI win over West Indies

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Sep 20

Alex Hales can use home comforts of Trent Bridge to make late Ashes case

• England opener will look for a big score on the second ODI’s flat pitch
• Rain-reduced match could help West Indies and their explosive openers

If this elongated summer of international cricket has taught us anything, it is that a scarcely contested England win against the touring West Indians does not necessarily guarantee success in the match that follows.

Related: Alex Hales and England rewrite record books in thumping win over Pakistan

Related: Jonny Bairstow century guides England to routine ODI win over West Indies

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Sep 12

Unfazed England are fired up to retain Ashes, says Stuart Broad

• Seamer says Test players have experience to handle difficult situations
• Broad relishes prospect of hostile environment in Australia

Stuart Broad believes the current England team are primed to defend the Ashes this winter after declaring “this is our time” due to the growing experience of the emerging generation coupled with that of himself, Alastair Cook and Jimmy Anderson.

“It’s hard not to be” was Broad’s response when asked about the confidence of Joe Root’s side, who after dispatching South Africa and West Indies during the summer can now talk openly about the much-anticipated series in Australia that starts at the Gabba on 23 November.

Related: Deep-thinking Stuart Broad in no mood to ease up despite mismatch of a series | Ali Martin

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Sep 10

England target temporary fast bowling specialist for Ashes defence

• Ottis Gibson’s departure to South Africa leaves gap in England set-up
• Kevin Shine will step in during limited-overs series against West Indies

England will look to hire a short-term fast bowling consultant with specialist knowledge of Australian pitches for this winter’s defence of the Ashes.

Ottis Gibson’s departure to become head coach of South Africa has left a vacancy in the set-up seven weeks out from the team’s departure and, with the deadline for applications not until 30 September, a temporary appointment avoids a rush decision on the full-time position.

Related: Victorious Joe Root backs England to do ‘something special’ in Ashes

Related: Stuart Broad’s drops underscore need for England to improve in the field | Ali Martin

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Sep 10

England eyeing Ashes win over ‘far from stable’ Australia, says Trevor Bayliss

• We are not going there to make up the numbers, coach adds
• ‘The fielding always concerns me. The catching has been terrible’

Trevor Bayliss has talked up England’s chances of claiming an Ashes victory against a flawed Australia side this winter provided they can arrest the epidemic of dropped catches witnessed against West Indies and one he described as “terrible”.

“We are not going over there to make up the numbers. We are going to leave here with a view to win. It is as simple as that,” said the England head coach, who was in bullish mood after witnessing two series wins from two in Joe Root’s first summer as captain.

Related: Trevor Bayliss: I’m not a dictator, says England cricket coach

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Sep 08

Jimmy Anderson at 500: the England bowler’s five best Test wickets | Ali Martin

Dismissals of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Brendon McCullum and Denesh Ramdin are top of the pile for England’s milestone man

Anderson’s “second coming” in international cricket began during the 2-1 victory in New Zealand when he removed their first five batsmen on his recall to the side in Wellington. It was cemented in the summer’s follow-up victory at home to the Kiwis with a career-best seven for 43 in the third Test. Among the carnage was the detonation of McCullum’s off-stump – a ball that angled in and then nipped away as the right-hander went to clip it through leg.

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Sep 06

England’s Joe Root focuses on series win and stays cool on Lord’s pitch fungus

• Captain aims for second series win of summer in decider against West Indies
• Toby Roland-Jones has chance to nail down place in XI for first Ashes Test

A series decider against West Indies it may be, along with a chance for England’s less than secure batsmen to seal an Ashes berth but, on the eve of the Lord’s Test starting on Thursday, the England captain, Joe Root, found himself fielding questions about fungus.

The home of cricket is hosting Test cricket in September for the first time and in keeping with lawns all over the country, autumnal weather has brought the appearance of “fairy rings” on the turf including one patch on the pitch, a metre in diameter and just short of a length.

Related: England’s third Test decider against West Indies carries unexpected intrigue | Vic Marks

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