England await Ashes restrictions news as Morrison warns ‘no special deals’

  • Players will be sent quarantine details in the coming days
  • Australian PM insists no favours will be done for tourists

The fog of uncertainty that has hung over preparations for this winter’s Ashes tour could start to lift over the next few days as England’s players are sent details of the Covid restrictions that will apply to their trip to Australia, and finally learn about the quarantine and bubble conditions that will be imposed upon them as they play five Tests in six weeks across five different states.

During lengthy negotiations between the ECB and Cricket Australia the prospective tourists had sought assurances that their families would be able to travel. With Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, now promising “no special deals” their primary concern has shifted to the conditions they themselves will face. The key question is whether they will have a degree of freedom once they complete their initial quarantine on arrival in the country, or whether they will be expected to live in strictly enforced bio-secure bubbles.

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County cricket finale: Warwickshire, Hampshire and Lancashire all in title contention – live!

Ooof, a superb grab at second slip, I think, by Weatherley. Josh Bohannon has to go and Barker has his man. Lancashire 27-4. And there’s been a wicket at Edgbaston too, as Overton picks up Burgess with the third ball of the day. And Notts are all out for 296 - no third batting point for them.

Lancashire have survived the first over from Keith Barker, but here comes Mohammad Abbas, with deep clouds looming overhead.

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Pakistan feel ‘used and binned’ by England’s withdrawal, says PCB chair

  • Ramiz Raja has no faith in England’s promise of 2022 tour
  • ECB made ‘independent’ decision, says High Commissioner

Pakistan have lost faith in English cricket and the promise of a tour in 2022, with contingency plans set to be drawn up amid a belief they will once again be left in the lurch.

The decision by England to cancel a short visit to Pakistan next month and renege on their show of gratitude for the biosecure summer tour last year has drawn widespread criticism with Ramiz Raja, chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board, saying his country feels “used and binned”.

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County cricket: Hampshire rally as wickets fly at Lancashire – as it happened

Hampshire were all out for 143 before taking three Lancashire wickets at Aigburth, while Warwickshire pushed on against Somerset

The other title contenders, Warwickshire and Notts, are also batting. And at Edgbaston, young Rob Yates has been caught off Davey for 3. Warwicks 3-1. Nottinghamshire, meanwhile, are 9-0, HH has squeaked a boundary.

An interruption in the first over at Bristol, where an air ambulance has landed. Fingers crossed they’ve got there in time.

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England accused of ‘making excuses’ after pulling out of Pakistan tour

  • Men’s and women’s trips cancelled due to security fears
  • ECB has failed member of cricket fraternity, says PCB chair

England have been accused of “failing a member of their cricket fraternity” and “making excuses” after cancelling the tour of Pakistan next month and citing mental wellbeing as one of the driving factors behind the decision.

The short trip was to be England’s first visit to Pakistan since 2005, featuring two double-header men’s and women’s Twenty20s in Rawalpindi on 14 and 15 October before Heather Knight’s women’s side stayed on for three further one-day internationals. But it was plunged into doubt last Friday when New Zealand withdrew their men’s team from the country in response to a “specific” and “credible” security threat that was relayed to their government by intelligence services.

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The Spin | County Championship finale: who will prevail in four-way title fight?

David Gower is pulling for his old club Hampshire as they look to pip Lancs, Warks and Notts in the final set of matches

David Gower was at Scarborough this month, when Yorkshire thrashed Somerset to end, yet again, their hopes of winning the County Championship. He was giving an after-dinner speech on the second day – the last as it turned out – and managed to escape the handshakes and small talk for long enough to squeeze in some time to sit in a deckchair and let it all soak in, watching some of the younger players have their day in the sun.

Gower was not always known for his dedication to the county grind but – with one round left to decide the winners, and four clubs in hot pursuit – his old club Hampshire are top of the table and in with a shout of their first Championship title since 1973.

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