England announce Ashes squad

England have announced their 17-man touring party for this winter’s Ashes series, and there have been one or two surprise call-ups.

Openers

Alastair Cook and Joe Root have been selected as expected, and will almost certainly open the batting at Brisbane. The selectors have chosen Michael Carberry as the back-up opener ahead of Nick Compton. Carberry’s form in the County Championship has not been great, but Compton shot himself in the foot when he criticised the selectors for dropping him after the New Zealand series, and his Test career looks to be over despite scoring 889 runs in this year’s County Championship so far.

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England-Australia ODI Series Review

After the main event of the summer, there was always a danger that the one-day series was going to be a damp squib and so it proved, with two games washed out by rain. After the first match at Headingley was washed out, Australia comfortably won at Old Trafford. Michael Clarke scored a century as the tourists racked up 315, which England never looked like challenging, slipping to an 88-run defeat. Only 15.1 overs of play were possible at Edgbaston before England levelled the series with a tense three-wicket win at Cardiff. Having bowled Australia out for 227, Clint McKay took a hat-trick to reduce England to 8-3, but half-centuries from Michael Carberry, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler saw the home side to victory. Australia easily won the decider, scoring 298 including 143 from Shane Watson before bowling England out for 249.

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Zimbabwe claim famous victory over Pakistan

Zimbabwe took their first Test victory over a side other than Bangladesh in twelve years with a thrilling 24-run win over Pakistan at Harare. Tendai Chatara was the star of the final innings, taking 5-61 to help his side to a win that levels the series at 1-1. Misbah-ul-Haq did his best to prevent an embarrassment with a determined 79 not out but there was not much support from the rest of the order, with only Khurram Manzoor passing fifty. Rahat Ali was run out for one trying to keep Misbah on strike, which sparked wild celebrations by the home side.

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England’s 2014 summer schedule finalised

The schedule for India’s tour of England in 2014 has been announced, and it looks like it will be a busy summer as they play five Tests over a period of 42 days. The five Tests will be played at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, the Ageas Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval. The Test series will be followed by five one-day internationals and one Twenty20. The first Test starts on 9th July. Everyone will be hoping for a more even contest than the last time India toured in 2011 – England whitewashed the tourists 4-0.

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Record-breaking Finch destroys England

Aaron Finch broke the record for the highest score by a batsmen in a Twenty20 international as Australia beat England by 39 runs. Finch smashed 156 from 63 balls as the tourists made 248-6 in their 20 overs. England never looked like chasing it down but did make their second-highest T20 total, finishing in 209-6. Joe Root top scored with an unbeaten 90 from 49 balls.

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Cricket shows contempt for fans with bad light rules

The fifth Test at The Oval ended in farcical circumstances when the umpires took the players from the field because of bad light, with England requiring 21 more runs to win from four overs left. While the umpires correctly followed the law as it stands, I couldn’t help but wonder, why does cricket continues to shoot itself in the foot like this?

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My Ashes Articles

The 2013 Ashes series is over, but you can relive the series by reading through my articles for the first three and the final Test (I was on holiday for the fourth) by clicking this link. I have articles on each day’s play, plus statistics, previews and one or two other posts. Over the next few days I post some articles looking back on the series and also looking ahead to the return series this winter, so keep an eye out for that!

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