Steve Smith gave batting coach Graeme Hick long and taxing work-outs in the nets as he looks to hone his formidable game ahead of the Ashes. File / Reuters
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.
Australia head to the Oval hungry to win their first Ashes series in England since 2001 as the peerless Steve Smith seeks to inflict further pain on the hosts. Tim Paine’s men finally
Cross-code star Sonny Bill Williams was benched and fellow centre Ryan Crotty missed out altogether as New Zealand named their team for Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland.
Bottom club Ittihad Kalba will look to bounce back to give their new coach a winning debut when they take on Fujairah in the fourth round match of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Friday.