Australia’s captain Tim Paine (right) and England captain Joe Root pose with the Waterford Crystal trophy before the first Ashes Test match at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Associated Press
Sixteen months after leaving Test cricket in disgrace over the ball-tampering furore, Steve Smith’s preparations for the Ashes have gone up to a manic level as the former skipper looks to return to red ball cricket in top form. Australia captain Tim Paine said former skipper Smith had given batting coach Graeme Hick
England are still basking in the glow of an epic World Cup triumph but if anything can throw cold water over their memorable summer it would be a first home Ashes series loss to Australia for 18 years. Battle commences at Edgbaston on Thursday and the last time Australia won there was the opening match
The opening day of the Ashes series between England and Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday also marks the start of the International Cricket Council’s new World Test Championship.
James Anderson has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test, with England uncertain when he will be fit to return after injuring his right calf. England’s record wicket-taker broke down after just four overs in the series opener at Edgbaston and did not bowl again as Australia romped to a 251-run victory.
VAR denied Manchester City a win against Tottenham for the second time in four months as the visitors secured a 2-2 draw at the Etihad on Saturday despite being largely outclassed by the Premier League champions.
Al Jazira have completed the signing of Serbian defender Milos Kosanovic from Belgian Club Standard Liege. The 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will join up with his new team-mates in Abu Dhabi ahead of the start of the 2019-20 season.
Barcelona made a nightmare start to the defence of their La Liga title on Friday by losing Luis Suarez to injury and then losing 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao, after a sensational late volley from substitute Aritz Aduriz.