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Ashes

Emotional Ben Stokes reveals Ashes anguish

WELLINGTON: Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed his pain at missing England’s Ashes campaign after being sidelined over an alleged fight outside a nightclub. The incident meant he was unable to join his teammates in Australia, but the 26-year-old hit form Wednesday with a man-of-the-match display in England’s second ODI against New Zealand. Stokes took two wickets then smacked an unbeaten 63 in the six-wicket win, saying afterwards he was thrilled to be back in an England shirt after five months out. Read More:…

Moeen’s anxiety for Test cricket after depressing Ashes crowd

LONDON: England's all-rounder Moeen Ali said that he fears for the future of test cricket, claiming the “disappointing” turnout in the Ashes series in Australia had opened his eyes to the struggles of the game’s longer format. While test matches around the world have seen falling attendances in recent years, the rivalry between England and Australia has usually managed to draw in the fans. Cricket Australia said after the visitors’ recent 4-0 defeat that more than 865,000 people had attended the five-test series, the…

ICC, cricket chiefs find no evidence of Ashes match-fixing

DUBAI:  International cricket chiefs said on Thursday they have found no evidence of match-fixing during the third Ashes Test between Australia and England following an investigation into allegations made by a British newspaper. The Sun said two bookmakers, including an Indian "Mr Big", had offered to sell it details of rigged periods of play in the Test in Perth which could be bet on to win huge sums. One of them claimed to have worked on the scam with former and current internationals including a World Cup-winning…

Boycott fears English county game could ‘die in 20 years’

LONDON: Geoffrey Boycott has said he fears English domestic first-class country cricket could die within 20 years. After England's recent 4-0 Ashes series loss in Australia, many pundits accused the governing England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of marginalising four-day County Championship matches, which are supposed to prepare players for Tests, by scheduling fixtures at the start and end of the summer rather than at the height of a season where Twenty20 fixtures now predominate. Boycott, an outstanding opening…

Australia complete 4-0 Ashes series rout of England

SYDNEY: Australia ruthlessly extinguished England's resistance to claim an innings victory in the fifth Ashes Test and complete a 4-0 series rout on the final day in Sydney on Monday. The beleaguered tourists, with skipper Joe Root weakened by a stomach bug and unable to continue batting, dissolved after lunch, losing their last four wickets for their fourth comprehensive defeat of the series. Paceman Pat Cummins led the Australian offensive in Sydney with four wickets for 39 to finish man-of-the-match and the leading…

Khawaja achieves his Ashes century dream

SYDNEY: Usman Khawaja is relieved he finally has an Ashes Test century to savour after a "lot of carry-on" over his debut against England in Sydney seven years ago. The elegant Pakistan-born left-hander soaked up the acclaim from his home fans after scoring 171 in the final Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. Khawaja batted for 515 minutes and faced 381 balls and just missed out on bettering his highest Test score of 174 made against New Zealand in Brisbane in 2015. It was a special milestone in the…

ICC rates Ashes Melbourne pitch as ‘poor’

MELBOURNE: The Melbourne pitch for the fourth Ashes Test match has been rated "poor" by the International Cricket Council (ICC), reportedly the first for an Australian ground, just days after players also criticised the conditions. The showpiece Boxing Day match, which ended in a draw, denied England their first win of the series that Australia had already claimed with an unassailable three-nil lead. It was only the second Boxing Day Test draw in 20 years. The drop-in pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was…

Cook says he deserved the axe – before epic double ton

MELBOURNE: Alastair Cook said selectors would have been entitled to drop him over his poor form -- before his masterful double-century put England in a winning position in the fourth Ashes Test. The unflappable opening batsman crushed Australia's hopes of sweeping the five-Test series with an unbeaten 244 on Thursday to put the tourists 164 runs ahead of Australia with two days left. The Ashes are already gone after England lost the opening three Tests, with Cook contributing just 83 runs in six innings. But he made at…

Australia reclaims Ashes with crushing victory in third Test

PERTH: Australia won back the Ashes after bowling England out cheaply despite rain delays and a pitch controversy to secure an innings win on the final day of the third Test in Perth on Monday. Having confirmed his status as the world's best batsman with a match-winning double century, Steve Smith added victorious Ashes captain to his ever-expanding resume as England were dismissed for 218 in their second innings in the last Ashes Test to take place at the WACA Ground. That gave the home side an innings-and-41-run win…